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Re: To grc - Re: Outside Pitch Mechanics

Posted by: tom.guerry (tom.guerry@kp.org) on Tue Mar 26 08:23:16 2002

Hi grc
> Your conclusion that less shoulder rotation on outside pitches equates to a linear hand-path may be true for an extension hitter, but does not hold true for a batter with a good rotational swing. Below is a repeat of my often-stated position regarding the mechanics for hitting outside pitches. I am sure you have read it before. --- Where do you find disagreement?
> ##
> “I think one of the main reasons the torque and c-h-p hitters are leading the performance stats is because they do not need to change their swing mechanics due to pitch placement. They are able to use basically the same mechanics regardless of where the pitcher throws to them and still hit the ball hard. The only adjustment they need to make is a slight change in how they initiate the swing. Once that change is made - their mechanics for the balance of the swing is on auto-pilot regardless of where the pitch is.
> The change in the batter’s initiation that programs the swing is controlled mainly by the direction of pull of the top hand. In other words, the direction of pull of the top hand at initiation sets up trajectories (of the bat, limbs and body) that control the balance of the swing.
> As an example - say the pitchers mound is at 6 o’clock and the plate is at 12 o’clock. On an inside pitch the direction of pull of the top hand is in tight, say at 11 o’clock, the back elbow will come almost straight down to the batter’s side before a significant amount of shoulder rotation occurs. This direction of top-hand pull keeps the lead-arm across the chest during rotation and generates a tight hand-path, and thus a low-load resistance to shoulder rotation. The back elbow coming fairly straight down with little body rotation means less top-hand-torque was developed and the batter finishes the swing with a lot of lead shoulder pull and relies more on bottom-hand-torque to bring the bat-head to contact.
> On a pitch more in the middle 2/3’s of the plate, the pull of the top hand is more straight-a-way, or at 12 o’clock. With a more straight-a-way pull, the shoulders rotate a few degrees as the back elbow lowers to the batter’s side allowing a greater amount of top-hand-torque to be applied. This direction of pull also causes the lead arm to cast slightly away from the chest and generates a somewhat wider hand-path. A wider hand-path generates greater bat speed and a higher load resistance to rotation. Less shoulder rotation means less bottom-hand-torque. So on the pitch in the mid-part of the plate, what we wind up with is greater bat speed from a wider hand-path and more balance between bottom and top-hand-torque being applied.
> On recognizing an outside pitch, the batter's pull of the top hand is more away from center, or at 1 o’clock. This direction of pull causes the back elbow to sweep in an arc some distance as the elbow lowers. This means top-hand-torque is being applied over a much greater portion of the swing. This direction of pull also causes the lead arm to cast out farther and develops a wide hand-path and thus a heavy resistant load to rotation. The greater load limits shoulder rotation which equates to less bottom-hand-torque being applied. So, on the outside pitch, the swing produces a wide hand-path with a lot of top-hand-torque being applied and little bottom-hand-torque.
> With less hip and shoulder rotation on outside pitches, the lead leg may not be fully extended and the back-arm becomes more extended at contact. Because of the lack of rotation, the batter may find it necessary to release the top-hand.”
> ##
> Note: For a given rate of angular displacement of the hand-path, the wider the arc, the greater the amount of rotational energy transferred to generate bat speed. Therefore, rotational hitters do not suffer the loss of power on outside pitches experienced by the linear hitters.
> Jack Mankin

A couple of things I might add.In my opinion,for swing mechanics to remain as similar as possible for different locations,the swing needs to start the same way for each pitch for a given pitcher(ignore for now that you may have good plate discipline and be looking for a particular pitch).This means the stride foot comes down at the same time.What the upper body is doing is also underway and consistent."pre-launch" torque can be applied in the same way for each pitch,but the direction of pull at launch(between 1 and 11 o'clock)can vary dpending on when launch happens.The later the launch(or perhaps more accurately, more the pre-launch tht proceeds prior to launch/torso turn/hookup to lower body rotation)the more the direction of pull moves toward 1 0'clock to create the "high load" condition Jack describes for the outside location.In this way each swing can be underway in similar fashion,then adjusted minimally(at the optimal time) or aborted depending on location.

The other important point as recognized by Paul Nyman at setpro is that this prelaunch upper body action must involve "scapula loading/unloading"(much as the inward turn involves cocking/loading the hips/pelvis).To the degree that Jack's principles help teach/learn/analyze the feel of this scapula loading,kids will greatly benefit.


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