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Re: Which Mechanic is Quicker to the Ball?

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Sat Jul 30 21:47:36 2005

>>> I think many select and high coaches believe that a linear hitting approach allows the hitter to be "quicker to the ball", and that rotational hitting results in a longer swing, which requires the hitter to initiate their swing sooner, thus they are more likely to get fooled by an offspeed pitch.

I have been following this board for over a year and I am just a parent that is intrigued by the rotational hitting approach but doesn't know enough about hitting to refute the claims made by proponents of linear hitting. I would appreciate any feedback or comments on this subject. Thanks <<<

Hi Jordan

I agree that many (if not most) high school and college coaches (baseball and softball) teach a form of linear mechanics similar to those demonstrated in this clip - http://webpages.charter.net/nickkio/HandstoBall/Linear05.mpg . I also agree these coaches think this straighter (A to B) hand-path demonstrated results in a quicker and shorter swing.

However, as Andy points out in his post below, it is a myth. I have charted many of these swings and found that the straighter a batter ‘s mechanics extends the hands, the longer the swing and the longer it takes to bring the bat-head to contact. Andy used Sammy Sosa as an example of a rotational swing. See clip http://www.youthbaseballcoaching.com/mpg/sosa_sammy3.mpeg

Sammy has not committed to the swing until he fully initiates it – hands start forward, shoulders start to rotate – about frame 14. At frame 18 he makes contact. 4 video frames (4/30 second) = .13 sec. The more linear swings I have charted (Pros included) took 5 to 6 frames. --- Now start at frame 14 and see if Sammy has a long swing to contact. Note that at contact, his back-elbow is still in the “L” position at his side. The back-arm is nearing full extension with linear mechanics – 8 to 10 inches farther out to contact.

I often ask linear coaches – “As the hands are extending out farther and farther toward contact, is the swing getting quicker and shorter?

Jack Mankin


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