4 Tips to Help Fix Rolling Over
In baseball, rolling over is a common swing mistake for young hitters that typically leads to hitting a lot of weak ground balls.
The younger hitters often have no idea they’re doing it until they get older. And by then… it has become a habit and hitting habits are VERY hard to break.
Why? Because when you’ve taken hundreds (or thousands) of swings a certain way, it’s very difficult to get your subconscious, split-second, game-time reactions to make any sort of adjustment.
If you want to avoid rolling over and hit correctly (with a lot more power), then we have a treat for you.
11x MLB All-Star Albert Pujols Shares Advice to Fix Rolling Over
We can learn from the best. In this 2022 video from the MLB Network Facebook page, Albert Pujols shares 4 simple mental pictures that can help any hitter fix the dreaded roll over.
Plus, he also shares the simple adjustment he makes to his batting tee before every game that helps him keep what he calls “a level swing.”
These incredible tips happen in the first 2 minutes of the video.
You definitely don't want to miss this valuable knowledge from one of the best hitters in the world.
Click here or the image below to play the video (or read the transcript down below) to hear Albert Pujols explain 4 simple mental images that can help hitters understand how to stop rolling over.
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Who is Albert Pujols?
Albert Pujols is a highly respected baseball player known for his excellent hitting abilities. His combination of skills includes the ability to make contact with the ball, patience at the plate, and raw power. Pujols was named the National League's Most Valuable Player in 2005, 2008, and 2009, and was selected to play in the All-Star Game 11 times. He won six Silver Slugger awards and was a two-time leader in home runs, batting average, doubles, and runs batted in (RBIs).
In 2018, Pujols achieved his 3,000th career hit, making him the 32nd player in Major League Baseball history to reach that milestone. During the 2022 season, Pujols moved up to second place on the MLB's all-time list of most career RBIs and total bases and became the fourth player to hit 700 career home runs.
At the end of the 2022 season, he led the MLB in the number of double plays grounded (426), and ranked third in sacrifice flies (123), fifth in games played (3,080) and doubles (686), and sixth in at-bats (11,421). Pujols also won two Gold Glove awards at first base.
Albert Pujols Hitting Drill Video Transcript
Yonder Alonso interviewing Albert Pujols after his 11th Major League All-Star Selection
Yonder Alonso: What’s up guys? I’m here with Albert Pujols, “La Máquina.”
Yonder Alonso: April 2, 2001. That was your first game in the big games. Now, I want to talk to you a little bit about routine. The reason for that is that growing up, I was a huge fan. And I always remember reading your article saying, “I love the tee." So I want you to see if you can kind of talk to me a little bit about how that routine has changed since that first day in the big leagues.”
Albert Pujols: Yeah, thank you. Nothing has changed much. You know, my routine is still the same. The only thing that changed for me is probably the reps. That repetition, you know? I don't take as many swings now as I'm older. I try to save my energy. You know, when you build a routine kind of, maybe in the offseason, I kind of keep it up, push it a little bit. But then, during the course of the season, I tried to cut it off a little bit. And that's what I've done over the last, I would say, seven or eight years.
Yonder Alonso: Albert, early on in your career. The pitch was what two-seamers down and away, right? That was kind of the pitch. Nowadays, as you're throwing up, has that routine kind of been modified a little bit?
Albert Pujols: Well, that's a good thing because that's the pitch that I kill the most. That pitch up and away or up and in, like, I really always train, you know, to put a good swing on it. When I train off the tee I like to put it to a level where it's really high, a little higher than lower, because if I put it lower I'm kind of digging down with my shoulder [but] I want to stay level. Right? When my swing comes flat through the strike zone. And when I take a swing I want to be able to feel it coming from my shoulder. You know, I don't want to come around because if I come down, I roll over. But if I come throughout with the shoulder and level, it's gonna keep me playing through the strike zone.
Yonder Alonso: Does it feel like a pass if like, you know, when you're playing ping pong, and you've got that flat paddle? Would it feel that way like that? If you turn it you're in trouble.
Albert Pujols: Exactly, exactly like that. If you turn it you know you're in trouble but you follow through with it. It's almost like a serving of pizza. If you're gonna serve the pizza, you can serve the pizza like that, you know, you have to give it to him. You're gonna, you're gonna have to give it to him so that way you don't drop it, you know? So same thing now with the tee just really using the knob of the bat through the baseball no matter where it is. I try to throw the knob of the bat… look at how the barrel stays flat through the zone. And that's what I focus on all the time, no matter where the pitch is. Is it up and away? Knob and barrel. Inside? Knob and barrel. Middle? Knob to the bat and look at how much I covered to the plate.
Yonder Alonso: Can we do this? A couple of swings? You guys might want to stand back a little bit. But for the tee purposes, do you want to put the tee out front for the kids to read to learn about it or do you want to keep it a little bit more behind?
Albert Pujols: Now a lot of hitting coaches right now they like to be out there to go away out there [in front of the plate]. But the thing is that the more out there that you practice, the more that you're going to have to jump towards that baseball so I like to practice in the back of my stance. So that way when I get into the game, I know I'm gonna be right on time in front where I want to hit it. But if I practice in the back of my stance, now if I see a pitch I'm late on it, I already trained for that pitch. And that's the line drive.
Yonder Alonso: And you don't know what's coming. The ball is here, you know it's there. But you don't know what's coming. as your balls here. You know what's here? What if it's not if you don't know what's coming, I got to work as deep as possible.
Albert Pujols: So I started you know, with a corner away, and I move into the middle and then I move it to the inside and then I finished with the middle. So if I have an out there, so when I'm focusing you know the liner, and then I can go middle you know I can get it.
Yonder Alonso: But you're still working out here and inside?
Albert Pujols: That's too much ...remember if you want to stay inside the baseball and same thing inside the baseball... The only thing that changes is by the pitch where it is, if it's outside, the only thing that changes is the contact, where you make contact with the baseball you know? Like, you don't have to change if I change my swing to try to get it on front. The only reason the only way that I can get that ball up front is if I open up and I don't want that. When I stay closed, and, like I say, bring the barrel, bring the knob to the baseball. Boom.
I think I can hit anyone, right? I want to feel like I can hit that pitch. Like if you put that ball in there,. I can hit the pitch.
Yonder Alonso: To right field. You can hit it up the middle. You can pull it if you want to.
Albert Pujols: And that's it, you know so without changing this thing.
Yonder Alonso: One last thing for me. I'm a sucker for the batter's box right like I know when I feel like I'm in a good batter's box, obviously, from your first days in St. Louis, but when you got back and you got into that batter's box did it just feel like oh, baby this is home for me?
Albert Pujols: What, this year in St. Louis? Yeah, of course. I mean it's a dream come true, going back with the fans, Opening Day...I was really excited to go back to St. Louis and just finish my career here where everything started for me. And hopefully, you know, I didn't have the best first half that I wanted. Hopefully, the second half will be better, and try to finish strong.
Yonder Alonso: The machine is always rolling money for that. I know he's gonna have a great second half. Thank you for doing this man and God bless your group.