I remember the skinny kid hitting a home run in Little league. He was 12 years young and never hit another one. Heck, he didn’t even play the following year. His parents stuck him in orchestra, said he needed some culture. I wish Rudy Jaramillo had seen that home run. He mighta said something to the kid or his parents and changed their minds.
Jaramillo grew up in Dallas, Texas or rather he grew up surrounded by gangs. I doubt peace, love, and whatever was the ticket getting him out. Jaramillo served as the Texas Ranger’s hitting instructor from 1996 to 2004. It was the longest consecutive stint any hitting coach served with the same team.
In 1999, the Rangers led the majors in base hits. In 2005, they hit 260 home runs-most in major league history. The Rangers won 17 silver slugger awards, and four MVP’s during Jaramillo’s time in Texas. And according to Wikipedia, they scored 800 runs or more for 13 consecutive seasons-the longest streak since the 1926-42 New York Yankees.
But more than hardware and accolades, it’s the testimony from players who say Jaramillo transformed their potential into actual base hits.
There is no ONE way to hitting a baseball. Ted Williams lived in a makeshift lab scrutinizing every facet of his swing. Mickey Mantle relied on a boys night out and giving it his all. They’re both in the Hall of Fame.
Jaramillo reveals his golden secret to anyone willing to be themselves. It’s real simple. Every hitter is different. It may sound obvious, but it’s often forgotten amid all the generic advice coaches give young players and all the tinkering done with their stance, style, and approach.
The Jaramillo technique sees abilities in a hitter and rather than imposing some text book formula, it observes and listens to the individual and then carves out the excess like a zuni fetish sculptor revealing what was always there, just hidden.