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>>> I've enjoyed the discussion. At the heart of my philosophy change was the diagonal swing plane. While many, if not most, of yesterday's greats swung in a more horizontal plane, today's greats swing in a diagonal plane. They launch from a high hand set and go downward diagonally with their swing plane. Very little posture adjustment is involved. It happens but it is secondary. Their adjustments are made with the hands....what I call the swivel direction. In fact, the only time their swing plane is horizontal is on a high pitch.
Albert Pujols is the main exception. He is so low to the ground, very wide and very low, and very talented, he can get away with the horizontal swing. The top of his zone is lower to the ground than most hitters. He goes horizontal often. But, not always.
Barry, Manny, Arod,....almost all the rest....are more upright than Pujols. And, they swing from their hand set location to the ball on in a diagonal plane.
That alone makes one question how do they do that and swing in the momentum path of their shoulders? My answer is....they don't. The momentum path of the shoulders does not line up with balls low the zone. Where pitchers pitch you. The high level pattern allows hitters to "swivel to the ball" from their hand set because they are rotating the barrel in their hands. Actually, it is the forearm unit, the triangle formed by the forarms and chest, which is rotated about the hands, which stay out over the plate in line with the ball as the shoulders resist shoulder rotation. Adjustments take a simple adjustment of the hands/swivel angle.
See www.teachersbilliards.com/hitzone/rhowardrays.gif. It shows Ryan Howard hitting a ball low and in by using a very diagonal, almost veritcal, swing plane.
Jack, he only has one swing......one swing that he can launch in many directions. He didn't setup to swing horizontally in the shoulders momentum and then think, while the 90mph pitch was coming,..."this is a low pitch I need to swing diagonally" and then change his swing midstream.
The high level pattern is centered on the Hands and the Hips......the shoulders are the enemy. <<<
You state, “The momentum path of the shoulders does not line up with balls low the zone.” – We are probably in the minority on this one, but I agree you. In a good swing, the momentum path of the shoulders does necessarily have to not line up with the swing plane. It does in many cases, but it is not an Absolute.
You State; “Actually, it is the forearm unit, the triangle formed by the forarms and chest, which is rotated about the hands, which stay out over the plate in line with the ball as the shoulders resist shoulder rotation.” – Here we may have some disagreement. Rather than the shoulders resisting rotation, I would say it is shoulder rotation that powers the triangle you describe. The triangle serves as an arm of the “double pendulum” which swing the hands (hinge) into the CHP which induces an angular displacement rate to the bat (the second arm of the double pendulum). Torque (THT & BHT - or your description of torque applied at the handle) plus the pendulum effect combines to generate maximum acceleration of the bat-head.
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