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Re: Re: Would you agree?

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatSpeed@aol.com) on Mon Sep 6 13:38:44 2004

>>> Would you agree that it would aid bat speed if a right-handed hitter (for better understanding) cocked his bat in line with the first-base line, then swept the bat behind his head and swung? Gary Sheffield does this, and I was wondering if this would help gain bat speed at the start.

Can someone give their opinion, please? Jack? <<<

Hi Hitter.

I certainly would not want to discourage you from experimenting with different stances and styles of hitting. However, I would also caution you that there is no stance or style that produces good results without the batter having sound transfer mechanics from initiation to contact. Regardless of where a batter holds the bat in his stance, if his mechanics apply forces to the bat that tend to drive the knob forward instead of swinging the bat-head, only mediocre results can occur.

You are correct in observing that many of the best hitters cock the bat-head forward. This cocking action is used to set the timing and rhythm of the swing to the pitchers motion. Additionally, by accelerating the bat-head back in a sweeping motion into the swing plane, the batís inertia to acceleration is greatly reduced making it easier for the bat-head to stay in sync with body rotation.

Note: Many average hitters generate ample body rotation. The problem is, their transfer mechanics do not keep the acceleration of the bat-head in sync with that rotation.

Hitter, I have preformed hundreds of video analysis of young hitterís swings. I found that if the hitter does not exhibit sound rotational transfer mechanics from the normal launch position, cocking the bat toward the pitcher to be of little benefit. In fact, if the batter has linear tendencies (thrusting the hands forward during initiation), cocking the bat forward leads to wrist binds and distortions to the swing plane that are detrimental to performance. Frame-by-frame analysis shows that 90 percent of these young hitters do not keep the bat-head accelerating into the swing plane. They bring the bat to a near stop at the launch position. Therefore, inertia (resistance to acceleration) is about the same as starting from the normal launch position.

Hitter, all that being said, if you have sound rotational mechanics that can generate good bat speed from the normal launch position, then you could benefit from cocking the bat and adding pre-launch torque before initiating your swing.

Jack Mankin


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