In Wednesday morning’s Kansas City Star, Mike Moustakas said he thought his .158 batting average was the result of getting out on his front foot too soon. Ned Yost called it "drifting" and here’s what that means: when a hitter swings the bat, his weight shifts from back to front. If the weight shift comes too soon, the hitter has nothing behind his swing when it’s time to make contact with the ball.
The other thing that can happen is a backside collapse. Picture a stack of children’s blocks on a table. Now imagine quickly pulling the bottom block toward you; the top block would fall away from you—that’s similar to what happens to a hitter’s swing. The hitter moves to his front foot too soon and the backside—the barrel of the bat—collapses.
Now the hitter has a loop in his swing and he’s going to have a hard time keeping the barrel above a pitch up in the zone. Check out Mike’s "Hot Zones" on the ESPN website and you’ll see he’s not hitting pitches at the top of the strike zone. If his bat head is collapsing and looping—and nobody’s told me that, but they’ve been on the road for about six months so I’m having to wing it—that would also explain why Mike’s hitting weak pop flies: he’s under the ball.
At times it looked like the Tigers were attacking Mike up in the zone and until he can stay on top of those pitches, they’ll keep doing it.