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Harper had blasted a rocket up the middle, just to the shortstop side of second base, with the exit velocity at 108 mph.
The best hitters make outs in seven of 10 at-bats, and when the count reaches two strikes, the chances for a hit is less than half of that.
Freddie Freeman is 6-foot-5, 220 pounds and one of the eight participants in Monday’s Home Run Derby, the annual event of big and powerful and frantic hacks, and he is fully capable of hitting a baseball a long way in batting practice. He had 28 homers last year, has 16 this year and is approaching 200 for his career.
Freeman chuckled in a phone conversation Friday and said, “I haven’t hit a home run in batting practice in three years.”Three years? In the games, his power is fueled by adrenaline and the velocity of pitches, and sure, that’s when he’ll hit a ball 440 feet, over and over.
When Schwarber got the word that he was in the Derby, he immediately texted Sinicola and asked him if he was ready to go. He’s from up in New York, so I don’t think he’ll be nervous.”In recent days, Schwarber said, Sinicola has been preparing for the Derby in Tampa by having a left-handed batter stand in, with a catcher behind the plate, and practicing batting practice. The Cubs left fielder says his typical batting practice routine is to take a couple of rounds at the end in which he imagines himself in hitter's counts, and he swings hard.
He went through a Derby walk-through of sorts on Saturday in San Diego, and Schwarber felt like he was trying too hard.When the ball is put in play, a lot of catchers will trail the hitter to first base, to account for the possibility that a throw will get past the first baseman.The other night at Citi Field, Bryce Harper again failed to run out a double play ground ball -- although calling it a ground ball isn’t a whole description.Then, in subsequent rounds, he’ll try to drive the ball gap to gap.