I cannot imagine how someone can NOT hit out in front of the chest but on the side, except for some special case as mentioned above.
Hitting on the side, whatever be the turned position, seems almost impossible or ridiculous - it will be like patting someone on the back when both of you are standing side by side facing forward. You can't even see his back properly and you can't generate any force.
Does hitting out in front also have a relation to taking the ball early?
I think for the same overall level of play, telling someone to hit out in front does not do anything. I have heard this being shouted out to so many adults in clinics, and they don't change anything, because the foundation for it is not there. They end up shortening their swing and trying to catch the ball earlier before their mind and body is prepared for it, and goofing up.