>>> Hi Jack I read Mike Epsteins book on hitting and he teaches to drop the back shoulder and let the front elbow ride up to start the swing.By doing this he seems as if he can attain top hand torque to initiate the swing as the back shoulder drops it feels as if the top hand would be pulling the bat back towards the catcher. Am I correct ?In your thread with A Rod did top hand torque have any thing to do with him being on the wrong plane of the ball? <<<
First, let me say that I have not read Mike's book or his take on applying THT. Some of the discussions I read regarding his technique refer to it as "shoulder tilting" which drops the back-shoulder while raising the lead-shoulder and elbow. I find that what they describe as the tilting of the shoulders can be better described as the shoulders rotating on a tilted axis.
If a batter were to stand erect (vertical), both shoulders would rotate flat, or parallel, with the ground. However, when the batter's axis is tilted toward the plate, his back-shoulder rotates from a higher to a lower position. At the same time, his lead-shoulder (and elbow) rotates upward from a lower position.
In other words, the batter's shoulders and lead-elbow are rotating in the plane of a tilted axis. Below is a video clip of Bonds swing that illustrates this principle.
Bonds - Shoulder "Tilt" vs "Rotation"
Mike poses a very important question regarding what we teach. He asks, "Do we actually teach what we see." I will place below a clip with four good hitters and let you judge for yourself what you see. Are they dropping their shoulder while raising their lead-elbows? Or, are their shoulders and lead-elbows rotating in the plane of a tilted axis?
4 Good hitters
You asked, "Am I correct ?In your thread with A Rod did top hand torque have any thing to do with him being on the wrong plane of the ball?" -- I would say his problem occurred more during his PLT phase of his swing. During his application of PLT (before shoulder rotation was initiated), the trajectory of his bat was accelerating to vertical (angling downward through the swing plane). The flaw in his plane was already determined before THT and shoulder rotation was initiated -- Below is the clip you referred to.
A-Rod's batting slump - Swing Plane Flaws