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Re: Re: Pure Bat Speed vs Pure Power

Posted by: The Hitting Guru () on Fri Dec 8 14:14:14 2006

> >>> Much has been debated on this site about the importance of great batspeed. And most all would agree that batspeed plays a major part in effective hitting. But the question that is perhaps the most interesting is how does the real tape measure shot result? And what is the most important aspect of the tape measure shot?
> After observing some of the best hitters on film, I noticed how big a part the long stride plays a part. Specifically the following hitters used longer strides to facilitate extra power. <<<
> Hi Guru
> Your post raises a question that has been debated for decades – What forces are at work that induces hip rotation? – On this question, the gurus are divided into 3 main camps.
> Camp (1) – As the batter strides, he transferees his weight forward to a firm (posted) front side. As the linear progression of the hips is blocked, its linear momentum is transferred into rotational momentum that causes the hips to rotate. – (Axis of hip rotation is around the front-hip.)
> Guru, the theory of your post would fit into this camp. A longer stride generates greater linear momentum that produces a more powerful rotation of the hips.
> Camp (2) – The Middle-Out Theory. -- As I understand it, this theory contends that hip rotation is induced solely from the contraction of the muscles in the pelvic region. The legs contribute little or nothing. It is hip rotation that straightens the lead-leg and forces the “L” in the back-leg. -- This would seem to downplay the importance of weight-shift. – (Axis of hip rotation would be around the center of the hips – the base of the spine)
> Camp (3) – This theory contends that hip rotation is induced from a combination of muscle contractions in the pelvic region and torque supplied from the legs applying force from opposing directions (back-leg driving forward – front-leg pushing rearward). This theory also downplays the need for linear weight shift to induce hip rotation. (Axis of rotation – the base of the spine)
> I am in Camp (3). I do not think the blocking linear momentum is transferred into rotational momentum. Therefore, I do not think the length of a batter’s stride is a contributing factor in generating hip rotation. – I will explain why below.
> The same physics principle that governs the rotation of a bat about a point also governs the rotation of the hips about a point. – For decades, we were told that the batter’s hands should applied force down the length of the bat (knob first). We were told that once the linear progression of the bat was blocked (slowed to a near stop), its linear momentum would be transferred in rotational momentum, which would accelerate the bat-head around to contact ( the “Whip” effect).
> As this clip - http://www.batspeed.com/media/WhipHigh.wmv – demonstrates, there is little to no transfer of linear momentum into rotational momentum to accelerate the bat-head as the hand’s linear progression is blocked. – The same principle holds true with hip rotation. -- There is little to no transfer of linear momentum into rotational momentum to induce hip rotation as the hip’s linear progression is blocked.
> Note: At the end of the above clip, I pointed out that “Torque” applied at the handle was the “major” factor in generating bat speed with a linear (A to B) hand-path. I will next address this issue in more detail.
> Jack Mankin

Jack. Thanks for your comments but I think I need to clarify my point further. I am not really trying to say that the linear component contributes to bat speed as much as it does to batted distance when done correctly.

The key to distance has a great deal to do with backspin. If that is true, then the most critical factor is to strike the bottom half of the ball. With that being said, even a more linear swing can accomplish this. This is key why Mike Schmidt, Gary Sheffield, and Dave Winfield had success using less of an upswing than other hitters who hit for power. They hit through the bottom half of the ball much like the slow pitch softball homerun hitters (many of which) do not use as much torque in their swings (but effectively take the knob to the ball which facilitates the rapid snap of the wrists).

The lunge of the forward movement increases the rubberband effect by stretching the body out from which the hitter goes from point A launch to point B finish position, especially when the hitter effectively hides his hands during the initial load. Thus if we combine your teachings (torque) with either the feet closer together or high leg kick, with the long stride we get closer to what Ruth and Mantle were doing (theoretically).

*Note a key differences between Ted Williams and Babe Ruth* Ruth the assumed stronger man weighed probably at least 20 lbs more. Ruth also used much heavier bats. Williams on the other hand was slight ly taller which helps with a relative higher launch angle to hit homeruns. But perhaps the most notable difference is Williams hit out of a much more spread out stance which contributed to quickness but hit for much less power than Ruth who hit with his feet together. Their upper body mechanics were practically the same. Williams a strong man in his own right is not known to have hit many long homeruns other than the 502 ft shot (red seat) in Boston and his Tiger stadium roof shots. Therefore it is likely that Williams could swing a lighter bat significantly faster than Ruth could swing his heavier bats. So I conclude that as much as bat speed is warranted, Ruth's back to forward weight transfer must account for some of the difference in relative distance.


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