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Re: Re: Re: Teaching Torque

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Tue Feb 15 02:30:39 2000

>>>I understand your description of torque development throughout the swing (to contact) and your logic of using the punching bag to determine if mechanical problems exist. But if there are problems, are there also methods of instruction to correct the faults?

In your article on "Rise in Offense Stats - 1988 Research" you stated: the rise in offensive stats is due to a growing number of players who have mastered a type of swing mechanics that allow them to generate much greater bat speeds. If this is so, then there must be methods of instrucion, or have the players just evolved? I'm not trying to put you on the spot here, I'm just seeking answers.<<<

Hi Curt

Up through 1996 I checked as many teams as possible to see if I could find any indication a major league coach was correctly teaching a circular hand-path and initiating the swing with top hand torque. I found little evidence to support that they were. At one time I thought maybe Dusty Baker and Bobby Bonds had taught Berry Bonds his mechanics. Bobby’s swing exhibited a fair amount of both and I assumed he had taught it to Barry. But in 92 or 93 Barry had a bad late season slump. In over a 100 trips to the plate his BA was just a little over 230 with only a couple HR.

A frame-by-frame review of his swing showed his mechanics had changed substantially. As he initiated his swing he was driving with the top hand instead of pulling back. This supported what I had found throughout the study – Batters perform according to the their mechanics – Barry now had the mechanics of a 230 hitter. It surprised me that neither Bobby nor Dusty spotted his problem and that led me to doubt their understanding of his mechanics.

Great hitters develop their higher bat speeds with rotational mechanics. They have a real problem when they go into a slump. Batting coaches try to fix their swing with linear ideas. Nothing scares me more than when I hear them say; “You need to go back to the basics.” I know what that usually means. It could be a long slump if they lesson.

Jack Mankin


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