Titans Have a “Blast” at Zoom Hitting Webinar with former D1 Player Derek Hasenbeck

by Jim Stewart

Blast Motion Senior Account Executive Derek Hasenbeck took fifty Titans players and coaches through their paces on Tuesday night in a Zoom webinar.  Before joining the executive ranks at Blast Motion, Hasenbeck played four years of Division 1 baseball at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The DH, catcher, and first baseman accrued a slash line of .279 / .369 / .401 and hit 16 home runs and 112 RBI during his D1 collegiate career with Xavier.  This kind of on-field statistical achievement prepared him for a career focused on baseball metrics and created a perfect learning opportunity for Titans players and coaches on a January evening.

Hasenbeck encouraged Titans hitters to embrace the many features of Blast Motion, including Swing Plane/On Plane Efficiency, Attack Angle, and Vertical Bat Angle.  He addressed the difficulties that the Pandemic has created continent-wide regarding baseball training, but encouraged all Titans to “make it a point to know the Blast Motion technology in order to make the most of remote learning, help their coaches, and derive as much as possible from electronic workouts, despite the limitations caused by the lockdown.”

Director of Baseball Operations and Player Development Lawrence Vera echoed his co-host’s remarks:  “With the difficult situation we are in, it was a great way to help educate our players on their swings. Providing our players with the ability to use Blast Motion and connect with coaches while at home will ensure we are ready to go when we are able to get back inside.”

The former Division 1 player stressed the importance of this kind of off-field work and acknowledged that “Early Connection-Consistent Load” is his “favourite teaching metric”. Hasenbeck encouraged players to strive for the ideal target range between 80-105 degrees” and also discussed the importance of connection at impact.  Derek also differentiated between Rotational Acceleration and Bat Speed and presented New York Mets hitter Pete Alonso as a “model of rotational acceleration” which allows the slugger to “hit the baseball to all fields with power.”  Hasenbeck also pointed out that “Alonso’s rotational acceleration is twice that of the average MLB hitter.” 

During the Question and Answer segment, Hasenbeck addressed connectivity issues and strategies to improve the blast sensor’s connectivity.  He also explained how Blast Motion establishes its parameters and recommended that our 14- 15 year old players select “High School JV” and our 16-18 year old players select “High School Varsity” to be properly categorized and norm-referenced.  Hasenbeck mentioned that these categories are based on the “60-80 million swings that Blast Motion recorded in 2020.” 

Thanks to Derek Hasenbeck for taking time on a Tuesday evening to help our Titans players and coaching staff embrace Blast Motion technology and strive for greater results at the plate in the 2021 season.  Hasenback’s D1 college baseball career at Xavier University and his post-baseball executive position serve as tangible goals for which our Titans players should strive.