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Re: top / bottom half

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Thu Aug 20 13:29:50 2009

>>> Please discuss the differences in the swings of Albert Pujols who seemingly hits the bottom half of the ball with with a downward strike versus Mark Teixeira whe appears to hit the top half of the ball with an upward strike. Would it be fair to say that Pujols is more of a bottom hand hitter and Teixeira a top hand hitter ? Thanks for your continued insight. <<<

Hi Pat

I have 4 across-the-plate views of Teixeira and 9 of Pujols that were taken from TV Broadcast games. The Angle Function of my MotionView program showed that all the swings had the bat on an up-slope at contact. The minimum up-slope was 13 degrees on a letter-high pitch while most were in the 18 to 25 degree range.

In most cases, across-the-plate views are shown when the batter hits a home run. Tests have shown that maximum ball flight distance occurs when the ball exits the bat on a 34-degree up-slope. Even with a bat on a 20-degree up-slope, the bat must still strike the ball below centerline for ball's exit angel to be in the 34-degree range.

Pat, the next few points may be 'information overload', but they may help to add clarity to the "swing up or down" controversy. Vector analysis of bat/ball collision shows:
(1) Maximum ball exit speed occurs when the ball is struck dead center.
(2) The farther the ball is stuck off-center, the less the ball's exit speed and the greater the amount of the bat's energy is deflected.

Therefore, if the bat's trajectory were level at contact, it would have to strike ball below center far enough to deflect the ball upward 34 degrees to attain maximum ball flight distance. Whereas, a bat on an up-slope of 20 degrees would need only a 14 degree deflection loss. -- Can you imagine how much of the bat's energy would be lost to deflection if the bat were on a down-slope at contact?

Jack Mankin


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