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Re: Re: Re: The Swing-Level, slight upper-cut?

Posted by: Coach W. (packwatson@comcast.net) on Wed Oct 24 06:33:17 2012

> Schmidt...needed...a video camera and a protractor to find out the truth.
...matching the pitch plane...is the most effective method.
A "level swing" ...is...a ground ball,...Therefore, that "level"...swing needs to strike the bottom part of the ball to produce a line drive. The further away from that 5-10 degree angle the swing is, the further from the center the ball must be struck.
...from reading Ted Williams book- "The Science of Hitting", ...the swing should contact the ball with a slight upper-cut, because the mound is 10 inches high and the ball is traveling downward,...the hitter should meet the ball with a slight upper-cut to maximize the hitting area (on the ball). In contrast, Mike Schmidt (can hit a ball, but doesn't know how he actually does it)...ha..ha.

My two-cents...
This is all very simple and very true. It's sad how many youth coaches teach downward swing angle (exclusively) and "cutting" the ball, which minimizes the hitter's chance for success by minimizing the area on the ball that can be struck to achieve a line drive.

The only exception I must point out to the uppercut only content above stems from the difference between the top of the major league (called) strike zone and the top of the physical (by rule) strike zone.

Youth hitters must develop and often employ at least a marginally effective flat swing angle to defend against umpires who expand the strike zone upwards, often significantly, to keep the game moving. Getting called out on strikes on pitches out of the strike zone is an every game occurrence.

The top of the actual strike zone is defined by the point midway between the hitter's shoulders and the belt. Balls hit at this elevation can not be struck effectively with an upper cut swing. To handle this upper limit (and higher if the player is in youth baseball where the strike zone can, unfortunately, begin anywhere under the eyes, a hitter must elevate the head of the bat over the hands, and this makes it impossible to deliver an upper cut on those pitches. These pitches must often be swung at in two-strike counts due to the inaccuracy of pitching and the need of the umpires to move the game along.

MLB hitters, however, can deliver an upper-cut swing on all pitches because rarely will an umpire call a strike on a pitch above the waist. Most MLB hitters are probably not using these blogs to learn how to hit, so the audience of youth coaches and parents need to know that their child will need, not only, an upper cut swing, but also barrel-above-the-hands swing to get through the many years of youth baseball.

Uppercut only tells part of the bat alignment. Hitters must also constantly adjust bat tilt to accommodate each pitch location.

Just as the youth hitter must, at times, elevate the head of the bat above the hands, all hitters must often change the tilt of the bat for balls all through the strike zone. Very often, the best angle and tilt combination is upper cut with bat barrel below the hands.

When on deck, most hitters practice only one swing angle and tilt combination. In actuality, a minimum of 9 bat angle and tilt combinations should be regularly practiced. (Up and In, Middle Up, Up and Away, In, Middle, Away, Down and In, Middle Down, Down and Away)

In truth, there are an infinite number of successful bat angle and tilt combinations depending upon the precise trajectory of a given pitch. For each pitch, there is a perfect angle and tilt combination. Those who come closest to matching that perfect angle, get the best results.


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