In one of my previous articles I said to ignore pro hitters until you become one, largely because the pros' hitting approach is contrary to what youth hitters should be working on. However when I was a youth player I watched and imitated pro hitters all the time so I don't want to be a hypocrite. With that in mind I can suggest, if you want to watch hitters who possess sound approaches that youth hitters can follow, you should watch Miguel Cabrera and Joe Mauer. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers Cabrera has a great setup from the ground up—perfect balance and superb body alignment and hand position. He can hit the ball out of the park to all fields but will also take what the pitcher gives him. He looks for pitches away and reacts instinctively on inside pitches. He will occasionally get jammed, but great hitters do get jammed because they try to cover all quadrants. Pull hitters always look for inside pitches and hit .250 or below because they are easy outs when pitched away. Cabrera does look inside depending on the situation or pitching patterns and that results in a very hard hit ball. But that comes with experience, and hopefully youth players will become students of the game like Cabrera.
Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins Mauer has a different style than Cabrera but it fits him and is extremely successful. Mauer has been a batting champion in his career. He also has perfect balance and superb alignment and hand position. He hits the ball to all fields while striking out infrequently. In his high school career he struck out once, which showed early in his career that he had a tremendous talent level, a great knowledge of the strike zone, and excellent plate discipline. In MLB Mauer very rarely gets himself out and takes his fair share of walks. He has a short, quick swing and though he is not a prolific homerun hitter, he has line-drive extra base power. He hits the ball off the barrel of the bat as consistently as anyone in the major leagues, which makes him dangerous in any situation. He’s a model for young hitters.