Re: attn: tom guerry
tom...you had previously mentioned that the tip of the bat does not start coming back in towards the body until contact.....after reviewing your post, i think i understand what you are saying....
> what you are saying is that at contact, the bat is parrallel with the front edge of home plate, correct?
> but if this is what you are saying, while it may be yours & epstein's ideal bat position at contact in order to keep the ball fair, this is not reality on inside pitches...most major leaguers contact the inside pitch with the bat angle about +30 degrees (i'll call the bat being parrallel to the front edge of home plate as "0 degrees", and for another discussion for another day i'll call contacting the outside pitch on the inside part of the ball as "-15 degrees")....if the bat is +30 degrees (sometimes it's as much as 45 degrees), clearly the tip of the bat has started back toward the body....
> also....it seems like you and epstein like an evr-so-slight "inside-out" swing to keep the ball fair, even to the extent of advocating that dreaded fence drill.....couldn't the same thing (keeping the ball fair) be accomplished by having a closed stance? (or more importantly, FINISHING THE STRIDE CLOSED)....
> respectfully, grc....
This is my thinking.Theoretically,hitting is timing.Good hitting minimizes timing error.Therefore,ideally,you want to make contact perpendicular to the flight of the pitch(roughly,but not exactly,parallel to the front of homr plate).The swing should be as "short" as possible.This,then, should also be the point where the bat tip gets as far toward the opposite batters box as possible with contact on the sweetspot(maybe 3"from battip).
However,the method we are using to create these hypotheses is to visually analyze what the successful practitioners do,so who are these and what do they do?I think they are as Jack describes,which means they hit inside stuff to the pull field and outside stuff more toward center or pull field than to opposite field.Why do they do this?Because it works.How?I'm not sure,but I'll bet somehow it reduces timing error,so theory is not a perfect fit.Maybe something about the rate at which batspeed builds up accounts for this.For the inside pitch,for example,the later you make contact,the higher the batspeed because you don't run out of torso rotation,but who knows.
The important take home lesson,however,is to cover the whole plate with minimum adjustment of good rotational mechanics which does not include making contact with the outside pitch deep or trying to hit to the opposite field.The idea of the "inside-out" swing is therefore counterproductive,if by this you mean the hands are ahead of the bathead at contact.
I agree with you that the inside pitch should go to the pull field.The way this hit is kept fair is by relative acceleration of the handpath arc(hooking handpath/bht) so the bat head stays back until contact,avoiding a dead pull.
Finally,the closed stance idea/stride to closed position.I would not recommend this as a way to keep balls fair/avoid dead pull.Better to work on handpath/bht/timing as swing key/area of focus.
From golf,I know it is much easier to be rotational if you have a closed stance since this forces the body to rotate instead of sway to make contact,so it is one way to teach a rotational feel.But here we are talking about adjustments for hitters who have mastered the basic mechanics.The adjustment(conscious,ahead of time) that Epstein recomends for the 2 strike situation is to shorten the swing by rotating the stance open.If you teach this adjustment,you really need to be careful that this stride/set up doesn't tempt the hitter to go linear and sway.
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