Bobby Tewksbary is credited with changing the way that instructors teach players to hit. The Hudson, N.H., native uses video along with metrics like exit velocity and launch angle to teach the mechanics of the baseball swing. The former University of Vermont baseball star is now the CEO of Pelotero, a software company for player development.
He recently joined the New England Baseball Podcast to talk about his rise to one of baseball most respected hitting gurus.
“I’ve never tried to invent anything,” Tewksbary said. “It’s not like there’s a new way of swinging that I figured out. It’s literally studying video and looking at what’s happening. I look at the best hitters of all-time to see how they performed. Then I use that information to instruct players, factoring the demands of the pitcher they’re facing.”
In 2019, Tewksbary was named one of New England Baseball Journal’s Most 50 Influential People in Baseball. The former independent league player was working in New York in 2008, and was at the old Yankee Stadium for the Home Run Derby that preceded that year’s All-Star Game.
Armed with a new camera — a Casio EX-F1 — he began recording some of the home run swings, none more impressive than Josh Hamilton, the Texas Rangers left-handed slugger who was at his peak and slugged 28 first-round homers, including 13 in a row. A few years later, he studied video of Albert Pujols’ swing and it reinforced his theory that the swing was being taught incorrectly at all levels.
Tewksbary steers his students away from age-old principles such as “stay back” and “swing down,” and toward the relationship between the body and the bat barrel, a deeper swing and an elevated launch angle.
“I came from a background of swinging down,” Tewksbary said. “When I looked at video of Pujols’ swing, I expected his back knee, his back hip and his hands to come forward together. When I thought his hands were supposed to be going down, his hands were going up. I was like, ‘Wait a second.’ When his knee was doing down and in, his hands were going up. So, his hips were opening, and his hands weren’t coming with it. Either he’s wrong or I’m wrong, and that set off a new journey.”
Tewksbary’s rise as a hitting guru has been swift. He’s an author (“7 Hitting Lessons from Batting Practice with a Big Leaguer” and “Elite Swing Mechanics,” among others). Before starting Pelotero, he operated a 7,000-square foot indoor training facility, Tewksbary Hitting, just off the highway in Nashua. He also offers instruction for professional, college and high school players, and talks shop with the hosts on MLB Network.
On Monday, Pelotero will launch a new training application within the HitTrax client program that provides professional quality, data-driven instruction to the HitTrax community.
“It’s our first product, it’s pretty exciting,” Tewksbary said. “It’s a product that helps hitters without me having to do it. It’s assessing the hitter. We do consider exit velocity and how far you hit it. But it establishes priorities. You do an assessment, and it gives you the things that you need to work on. This is what you’re good at and not good at. This is where you need to focus.”
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