Re: Does bat speed at contact = ball exit speed and flight distance?
Posted by: Yankee (
) on Tue Mar 25 21:57:40 2014
> Most batting instructors would agree that there is a correlation
between bat speed at contact and how far a hit ball will travel.
However, I have also talked with coaches that believe bat speed at
contact is overrated. They contend that gaining speed after contact is
important because of the "driving through the ball" effect. They
further contend that the "grip" and "speed of the incoming pitch" is
also important factors.
> Here are links to two scientific studies that address ball exit
speed and flight. The first link (<a
href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5LjES5yyWA">ESPN Science Study -
Ball Flight</a>) is to a science study that explains why bat speed is
far more important to ball flight than pitch speed.
> The second link (<a
Bat/Ball Collision Study</a>) is to a Bat/Ball Collision Study that
explains why forces applied at the handle after contact has no effect
on ball exit speed or flight. The study concludes that the ball is in
contact with the bat for about 1/2000 of a sec. During this time the
bat moves less than 1 in. (about 5/8 to 3/4 in.). It further concludes
that the ball will have left the bat before any force at the handle
reaches the impact point.
> Therefore, the bat speed that really counts is that attained at (or
by) contact. Swing mechanics of a great hitter allows him to generate
higher bat speed much earlier in the swing than average hitters.
Players with a lot of "pop" in their bat expend all of the bodies
rotational and torque energies before and at contact. After contact
their limbs and torso are how in a relaxed and coast mode. The follow
through portion of the swing is from the momentum of the bat pulling
the arms up and through.
> Average hitters are still expending energy to gain bat speed for 20
to 40 degrees (poor hitters past 60 degrees) of bat travel after the
bat passes the optimum contact point. Their hardest hit balls are
pulled and they have little power to the opposite field. Practicing
drills that have the batter "swing through two balls" or "Hit deflated
basketballs" can only add to their problem.
> Jack Mankin
Hello Jack. I would have to agree. Two good examples would be the
swings of Chase Utley and AJ Pierzynski. Both completely relax their
swings after contact.
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