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Attn: Jack & Jeff M.--Swing Plane!

Posted by: Jeff M () on Sat Nov 4 18:34:50 2006

> >>> While I disagree with Gym Teacher's double extension model of the swing, I part with you in another respect--the swing plane. Jack, why is the swing plane so important, when A-Rod, to name one major player, exhibits a wavy swing plane?
> I understand that Griffey Jr. fits your model of consistent planes; however, Barry Bonds does not. In fact, Barry "scoops sand" before attempting to hit the pitch.
> Please clarify your position on swing planes, and, if possible, direct me to visuals that agree with your postural assessment of the swing.
> One more thing--do you consider an inconsistent swing plane the mark of a linear hitter? <<<
> Hi BHL
> A good hitter consistently hits the ball hard. To hit the ball hard, the batter’s mechanics must generate good bat speed. To make consistent contact, the bat’s trajectory must be in a plane that matches the plane of the incoming ball. As you know, I have often stated that length of the bat, the hands and lead-arm should remain in the same plane from initiation to contact.
> Paul Nyman produced an animation that illustrates the bat and lead-arm remaining in the same plane during the swing. You can view it at –
> http://baseball-fever.com/showthread.php?t=51455 – Note that a good swing plane appears as a flat disc. Inconsistent contact occurs when the bat’s trajectory arcs below and above the plane of the lead-arm (appears more like a sine wave than a flat disc).
> You can view the bat remaining in the plane of the lead-arm in this video clip of Griffey Jr. -- http://www.youthbaseballcoaching.com/mpg/griffey_ken1.mpeg – Frame forward to the frame just before he initiates shoulder rotation. Note from that point, that the bat remains in the plane of the lead-arm.
> Youthbaseball does not have a clear frontal view of Bonds’ swing. However, even with this rear view of his swing (http://www.youthbaseballcoaching.com/mpg/Bonds01.mpeg ), you will note that his bat remains in the plane of his lead-arm. – I have seen video of his swing where the head of his bat travels slightly higher than the plane of the arm. But his bat-head remained in a consistent relationship to the plane – not waving below and above the plane.
> In the late 1980s, I taped hundreds of MLB games. From those, I selected clips of great hitters who were in a prolonged batting slumps. In almost every case, I would note that their mechanics was producing flaws in their swing planes. Rather than appearing as a flat disc, it looked more like a sine wave.
> Jack Mankin
BHL & Jack,

No more reference to the physics of the swing in this post, but rather a more layman oriented approach in line with your questions. I do like Griffey Jr; I think his size and body structure facilitate the longer (looking) swing as opposed to Bonds, who many say may be more compact but equally explosive. Batspeed factored into the swing equation I also like Ryan Howard and David Ortiz. Question 2 is more a problem as I do not relate either the swing-gate or revolving door model into anything remotely close to an actual baseball swing. Absolutely the back leg forms an “L”, and I can (as you can) certainly prove that there is a dynamic change after rotation or at contact point where we find the front side in a brace-off position countering the back leg fold. This can be argued as the primary pre and post collision effect of power. Regarding the back calf position, I think I know where you’re heading on this, but I would maintain that there is a distinctive rotation & turn of the rear toe which by nature lends itself to the calf facing the catcher. We can talk about weight shift later if you wish. Forgot to add that while I have always been a supporter of Alex Rod, I can not consider his swing as a model by any means.
Jeff M


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