CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Developing a Hitting Approach with Will Middlebrooks

About the Author: Eric Cressey

We’re excited to welcome retired MLB player and current Cressey Sports Performance – Florida hitting coordinator Will Middlebrooks to the podcast. A special thanks to this show’s sponsor, Lumberlend. Head to www.Lumberlend.com and and check out some of the awesome black Friday deals they’re offering as you customize a bat mug today to check some holiday shopping off your list for the baseball fan in your life. 

Show Outline

  • How Will’s early athletic career as a multi-sport athlete in Texas impacted his athletic development and set the stage for future athletic success
  • How Will managed to thrive immediately at the big league level
  • Why the hot streaks of young professional hitters are often short lived and what players can do to find consistent, long-term success
  • What pitchers Will excelled against and struggled against as a hitter
  • Will’s unforgettable moment with Mariana Rivera
  • Why a hard slider is so difficult to hit
  • What the opposing team’s scouting report was on Will
  • What cues and coaching tips proved to be influential in Will’s hitting development
  • How asking questions, learning from veteran teammates, and being open and observant proved to be the most impactful tools for Will’s development as a hitter
  • What it was like playing alongside some of the great hitters, like David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia, and what lessons he learned from these iconic players
  • How David Ortiz was one of the most prepared hitters day in and day out and how this understanding of himself and his competition translated to in-game results
  • How the Boston Red Sox were able to turn around from a less than stellar 2012 season and emerge World Series Champs in 2013
  • How Will learned to handle the pressure of high stake, October baseball and play fearlessly
  • How adjusting a hitter’s approach can smooth out mechanical flaws in their swing
  • Why hitters need to have the self awareness and conviction to stick to their strengths and play to their game plan in competition
  • How Will takes a realistic mental approach to hitting and sets the goal for his hitters to be completely locked in for 80% of their ABs
  • Why young players should stop selling out for exit velocities, launch angles, and throwing velocities that impress at showcases but don’t play out in competition
  • What a hitter’s log is, and how players can implement this strategy to develop their approach and better understand their skills at the plate
  • What hitters Will likes to watch and why
  • Where Will sees the future of hitting headed

You can follow Will on Instagram at @csp_hitting and on Twitter at @middlebrooks.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Lumberlend Co. If you’re looking for a unique gift for a baseball fan in your life, you’ll definitely want to check this out: they’ve hollowed out the bat barrel and created a cool drinking mug. You can customize these with colors, names, logos, and photographs. They’re also an officially licensed MLBPA product, so you can get your favorite teams and players incorporated into the designs. I’ve used these as gifts with great feedback, so I’m confident you’d experience the same. Just head to Lumberlend.com as you design yours today – and take advantage of their great Black Friday sales.

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And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

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