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Tool Time: Top Sliders

Paul Abraham

The precipitous drop of a slider can get batters heaving bats into the stands. Diving out over the plate with one hand on the stick leaves the hitter in a precarious position – ground out weakly as they roll over on the pitch or swing and miss.

Mike Ekstrom His ground ball ratio is a testament to a terrific slider, getting hitters to roll over on his darting slider down in the zone. Hitters believe the pitch will be higher before the plunge begins, causing the batter to swing in miss or top the ball weakly to waiting fielders. The movement on Ekstrom's pitch – late drop – makes the groundout his preferred method of getting outs...

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