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Re: Re: Re: Hiding the hands

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Sat Jan 5 21:01:46 2008

>>> Hi Jack. I commend you for explaining your point the way you did. And I agree that what is most important is that at some point the hitter arives at a strong launch position. (Lau Sr.) And the moves prior, hitch or not, do not matter all that much but are more a function of what works best for the individual.

Of course the inherent difficulty is when one way is used as gospel while other methods seen as taboo. "We should remember that most major league hitters have A level talent with not necessarilly A level technique." (Bob Campbell) Therefore everyone does not benefit by copying a major league players exact style.

That is why Ted Williams mentioned (in his video) that a hitch is not good if it costs you time to get the bat to the launch position. position. <<<


I have never advocated any one style for attaining the launch position. But once the best hitters has arrived at a good position, they all exhibit the same principles during their swings. I just answered an e-mail on this topic. I will place it below for your comments.

Jack Mankin


XXX, you stated, -- “I know from watching videos and looking at pictures, Jack, that there is more than one "right" way to swing the bat - and your style is not a cure all and has some definite limitations too.”

I agree with you that good hitters exhibit many different styles in how they prepare for the swing. As a hitter takes his stance in the box, some will (as you pointed out) have their hands away from their body – some close to the shoulder. Some will have their hands high like A-Rod – some low like Bonds. Some good hitters will stand tall while others like to squat. Some will take longer strides – some soft or no-stride. These are all matters of a batters individual “style” and my work has not taken a position on whether or not one style has an advantage over another.

But once the batter has completed his preparation for the swing and brought the bat to the launch position (is now in the plane of the swing), the “style” time is over. And once the swing is fully initiated, the swing mechanics exhibited by the best hitters are all basically the same (viewed frame-by-frame). The bat speed developed by all batters will be governed by the same mechanical principles.

Defining those mechanical principles common to all great hitter’s swings was what my study concentrated on. Below are principles found in all high level swings.

Regardless of where a great hitter has his hands in his stance (style), (1) his hands will be brought to the back-shoulder at initiation (hands hidden from pitcher). -- Regardless of the length of the batter’s stride (style), all good hitters will (2) rotate around a stationary axis.. -- In order to generate a productive CHP, he will (3) keep his hands back and allow the rotation of the shoulders to accelerate the hands around to contact. – he will (4) keep his lead-elbow at a fixed angle from initiation to contact. -- All great hitters will (5) still have their back-elbow at their side in the “L” position at contact (arm not extended). – All great hitters will (6) have the lead-shoulder pulling rearward toward the catcher at contact (hook in the hand-path). – Those are not “styles”. Those are the principles for maximizing bat speed and generating a predicable swing plane.

The purpose of all batting mechanics and principles is to apply forces to the bat that will gain maximum acceleration of the bat-head into a predictable swing plane. I defined these mechanical principles as PLT, THT, CHP, and BHT.

Best regards,

Jack Mankin


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