This week's Baseball Drill of the Week is the "Derek Jeter Drill" (aka Driving the Outside Pitch).
We're calling this one the Derek Jeter Drill as Jeter is widely known as a player who can drive the ball effectively to the opposite field. However there are a vast number of players who can also do this, with some other famous examples being Roberto Clemente, Ryan Howard, Mike Piazza, etc., the list goes on. In fact, let's invite a sabermetrician to inform us on who the greatest opposite field hitter of all time is. Until then, we'll stick with the household name of Derek Jeter.
Driving the outside pitch is something that doesn't come naturally to many hitters. Our instinct is usually to pull the ball no matter where it is pitched. As we know though, this will lead to disconnection in the swing (i.e. hands too far from the body) thus weak grounders, or poor stabs at the outside pitch. Hitters need to be comfortable and confident in their ability to drive outside pitches as that is where pitchers, especially younger ones, live - on the outside part of the plate. Some pitchers never get comfortable throwing inside, and even as you get older and play in better leagues, pitchers will still try and get you swinging weakly at outside pitches. So get comfortable with hitting the outside pitch, and not just hitting it, but DRIVING it.