Swing Thoughts

Consider the words of these Major League Players which can be found on Fangraphs-

Bryce Harper: ďIf you look at the best swings in baseball, itís through the baseball as long as you can.Ē

J.D. Martinez: ďI used to always think Ďhit down on the baseballí and after studying everyoneís swings, I changed that, because thatís not what other people are doing. Theyíre doing what feels like an uppercut.Ē ...

Brandon Moss: ďDonít chop wood. Terrible. Itís a short swing, but itís a swing that takes absolute perfect timing. You have to be so precise. If you donít hit it right, you clip it. Itís on the ground, or itís a foul out, or itís a backspun fly ball which goes nowhere. Match your shoulders and your hips with the barrel of the bat.Ē

Josh Donaldson: ďDepending on the angle of the pitches, itís going to change the angle of how my body is going to be at impact. If Iím hitting a low pitch, to get it in the zone, Iím going to [have a lower back shoulder], and Iím going to be into my legs and matching it with my lower half.ĒÖ

From the Fangraphs article ďHitters: Quit Chopping Wood, Donít Go for BackspinĒ

Consistent Contact

No matter what level of ball, baseball or softball, the best swing is slightly up, or in another view, level to pitch. Mathematically, it provides the hitter with the greatest chance of making solid contact. This famous graphic is from Ted Williamsí The Science Of Hitting.

In picture format what Moss and Donaldson have described in the article-

Hands at Launch

Some people suggest that first move with the hands is down. Is this really teaching what we see? In addition to the one posted above, take a look at the examples below. Itís hard to argue with the success these two hitters have had in their prime. Notice hips go first. Hands stay with the back shoulder while the back elbow comes down.

Hands continued...

Look at what is going on with the hands from the behind home plate view. Notice how both elbows change as the back elbow comes down. The hands work the barrel to flatten early and stay with back shoulder for a bit. This allows top level hitters to attach their swing to powerful rotational energy.

And the greatest hitter of all time...

This is Ted Williams. The most famous player to wear the number 9. This is from a video he made in 1966 and shows how the hands/elbows work the bat to take the barrel to the ball on a slight upswing.

Note: I gave credit to the gifs where possible. I do not recall the location of all gifs on this page.

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