Isn't It All About the Handpath?

Posted by: cfs (jcsherwood8458@sbcglobal.net) on Tue Dec 29 11:51:12 2009

Hi Jack,

I know that Mike Epstein is a well respected instructor of "rotational" hitting mechanics with many successful students, but there is a video presentation on the homepage of his website that I believe illustrates the important differences between he and you. The video begins with A-Rod and then moves on to a college player. It describes "rotational" hitting as hitting with a stationary axis, and makes no mention of the handpath. I guess the assumption is that if the axis is stationary, the handpath will rotate or be circular. When I carefully view the video of the college player, I see several flaws or weaknesses that create a mostly linear handpath even though his axis appears stationary. From "launch" to "lag", the hitter swings his back elbow under, "slides" the bat forward, and creates little acceleration of the bat barrel early in the swing. As a result, in the "lag" position, the hitter's hands (and elbow) are too far forward. From the "lag" position to "contact", the hitter shows little shoulder rotation and extends his hands forward to generate batspeed. This is apparent in the change in his back arm angle from about 90 degrees to about 130 degrees. Also, the hitter does not rotate his front foot and his front knee locks out long before contact, forcing his hands into a linear path.

When I see the videos of MLB players that you highlight, it is clear that this hitter's swing is different from theirs. My basic knowledge of physics and mechanics tells me that there is no way that this hitter can generate the batspeed, especially early batspeed, that he would generate with the mechanics that you describe, as used by the MLB players. So clearly, it's not just about the axis, it's about the handpath and the body mechanics that create a CHP.

What do you think?

Thanks

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