Re: launch position
>>> why is it important to have your hands low by the shoulder at prelaunch than above the shoulder <<<
First, I need to define the difference between the terms "pre-launch" and "launch." I define pre-launch as the batter's movements that occur before the initiation of shoulder rotation. In other words, movement of the bat, arms and hands that occur before the large muscles of the legs and torso are brought to bear. When the swing is "launched," these major muscle groups are engaged.
A good "launch" position should bring the hands, limbs and bat to position that produces the optimum swing plane and maximizes the transfer of the body's energy into bat speed. I find that good hitters have their hands in a variety of positions during their pre-launch movements. Some start with their hands low (like Bonds) while others (like A-Rod) have them high. However, before they initiate shoulder rotation, they bring their hands to about shoulder level.
Smac, my video analysis of college hitters shows that a high percentage of the batters that initiate shoulder rotation with their hands well above their shoulder produced a downward trajectory of the bat in the contact zone. The best college hitter's bat trajectory bottoms-out and is on an up-slope at contact. It appears that starting with the hands above the shoulder causes the bat's trajectory to bottom-out after contact.
I checked the batting stats of 25 players whose bats were angling downward. Those stats showed that although 6 had a .300+ batting averages, none produced a slugging percentage over .428. The top 25 hitters slugging percentage was in the .940 to .680 range. --- It might help if I will show my video analysis of one of the hands high hitters. I will try to post it in the next couple days.
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