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Re: Swings that break all the rules

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Tue Jun 17 21:54:24 2008

>>> I read this sight constantly and truly believe in the concepts espoused. However, just about every night on the baseball highlights shows and team websites I see homerun blasts with mechanics which seem to go against everything taught here. One example, is the 3-run homer by John Bowker of the SF Giants (vs Tigers):
His bat speed seems very low, his arms are extended at contact, the swing plane is warped, and I don't see any bht since both arms are extended. How can such a seemingly effortless swing generate so much power? <<<

Hi Rocky

I review the clip 5 or 6 times and it appears the mechanics you refer to was with his double down the line that rolled dead at the 307 foul pole marker. His home run ball was on a pitch closer to the middle of the plate and the swing looked more like what you would expect for a 360 to 370 foot fly. That would be an out in most parks.

Keep in mind that the farther outside and lower the pitch, the less the shoulders can rotate and the more the back-arm must extend to make solid contact. However, batters whose mechanics generate great early rearward bat acceleration from applying THT do not need as much BHT approaching contact on outside pitches to generate equal bat speeds.

In other words, by applying more torque (THT) earlier in the swing combined with a wider hand-path, a batter can generate as much bat speed as a batter with a tighter hand-path and applying more BHT from greater shoulder rotation.

Some might think that the tighter the hands are kept to the body, the greater the bat speed achieved. That is seldom the case. A slower but wider CHP can generate more bat speed from the pendulum effect than a tighter faster CHP. However, a wider hand-path offers less leverage to apply torque and therefore the bat speeds attained are about equal for batters with high level mechanics.

Note: Most of Sosa’s and Big Mac’s 500+ foot shots were on pitches away (wider hand-paths). -- For a given angular displacement rate of the hand-path, the wider the path, the greater the bat speed induced from the pendulum effect. – This may sound like “information overload” to some but the point is highly important for motion analysis studies.

Jack Mankin


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