Kevin Long and the Home Run Drill

Mailbag: The A.J. Auto-Loss Myth
Rangers hitters present a different challenge than Twins

This year we’ve heard plenty about Kevin Long’s Home Run Drill, an exercise that he uses to help hitters shorten their swings and generate more power. Today at the Star Ledger Brendan Prunty describes the history of the drill. It started when Long was a hitting coach in the Kansas City system, and he nearly scrapped it before one hitter experienced exceptional results. Now the Yankees are using it to their advantage, none more prominently than Robinson Cano. This is just another reason why Long will become the highest paid hitting coach in the league when he signs a new contract this off-season.

Mailbag: The A.J. Auto-Loss Myth
Rangers hitters present a different challenge than Twins
  • Ross in Jersey

    Just give the man a lifetime contract. He’s the Dave Duncan of hitting coaches.

    • Marcos


  • Brian in NH

    I almost wish we had a guy like him in the minors now helping guys out. At the very least he could turn fringy guys into better trade bait

    • CBean

      They should have the minor league coaches come and learn from KLong. It would make sense if you have a hitting coach that has been able to show such proven results.

  • B-Rando

    Dude is awesome. He GETS results out of his players. You don’t see that very often from our perspective with coaches and players.

  • Mattpat11

    I’ve always thought pitching coaches and hitting coaches were overrate, but I really think Long is the exception to the rule

    • Brian in NH

      Maybe there are coaches who are overrated, but I think that there is value in someone like Long who seems to have a knack for figuring out guys swings (or pitching motion for pitchers) and improving on them

      • Thomas

        I think another key to the success of any coach is the player willing to recognize his weaknesses and be willing to learn.

        For example, Swisher has been a very good hitter throughout his career, but still went and work with Long to try and get better. He could have easily not done that essentially saying “Last year was arguably the best of my career, I don’t need another person help unless I am really struggling” or “I can figure out my problems on my own.”

        Also, Swisher was willing to go to Eiland to help with his throwing, which most players probably would do or even think to do (like Damon who could have used as much help throwing as anyone).

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      i was a big fan of chris chambliss as a hitting coach. he seemed to be the one who came in and instilled in the team the mindset of waiting for your pitches, taking pitches and working deep into the count. I credit him with that having caught on with the ml roster

  • badadvice

    Its things like this that make me return everyday to read. You can search the yankee news and find things like this if you have lots of free time. But having someone do the work for you is better. Plus your team and views on things about the yankees are so good and different.

  • Kevin P

    I’m confused. Do you have to tuck your arms in to avoid hitting the net?

    • vin

      I think it keeps your arms short, so the power generated has to come from your lower body, rather than your upper body. Basically it helps train guys to hit inside pitches with authority.

    • Esteban

      Yea, if you swinging right, you shouldn’t hit the net at all.

  • vin

    Good post. But he’s still no Tom Emanski.

    • Thomas

      Back to back to back AAU Champions will be nothing compared to back to back to back WS Champions.

      Not even superstar Fred McGriff could disagree.

      • jsbrendog (returns)

        ietc and so did superstar fred mcgriff

  • Sayid J.

    Back to back to back AAU national championship teams.

    • Sayid J.

      Damn it. Reply fail.

  • Esteban

    Heh, I went to a hitting coach (Gaby Martinez ,who actually was on the Yankees roster, but never played in a game) for a few years and he had me do the exact same drill. It didn’t get me to the majors :(

  • CS Yankee

    I would be surprised if he gets the same money as Rudy did to go from the Rangers to the Cubs. He is worth it and I wish him the best, the ball players should be tipping him big time for all the off-season visits he makes to them though.

  • larryf

    Pay close attention Frankie and you’ll hit one sooner or later!

  • Rob in CT

    Good stuff, but Robbie Cano is good at the drill because Robbie Cano is a ridiculously good hitter. He’s hitting more HRs as he comes into his prime years.

    If the drill has Cervelli hitting dingers, ok, I’m impressed.

    Just like I’m impressed with the changes made to Granderson’s swing. And, to a lesser degree, Swisher’s (Swish’s overall numbers aren’t really any better from 2009 to 2010. But I do think his new approach might be able to help him to avoid flailure against top-notch pitchers in the playoffs).

  • beer boy

    kevin long is a genius. its amazing how much he has helped swisher, granderson, gardner… and the rest of the team.

  • Another Bronx Dynasty

    His results with the players are incredible. The last hitting coach I remember that was this good & got soo much attention (and that George wanted to get for the Yankees) was KC Royals Charlie Lau.

    Lau was credited for helping the great George Brett. But K-Long is helping to improve everyone that he comes in contact with.

    “What did the Lau System mean to me? . . . little did I realize at the time what it was going to do and how it was going to change my life. . .” – George Brett