Re: Re: barrel time in the zone
Posted by: Patriot (
) on Thu May 23 10:36:59 2002
I'm relatively new to this site.
> > However, I've got some pro baseball
> > experience(Angels organization) and I'd like to
> > think I'm a little knowledgeable about the
> > swing.
> > I'm interested in some opinions on this topic.
> > Would you say it's fair to say that rotational
> > mechanics maximize bat speed but minimize
> > the amount of time the barrel of the bat stays
> > in the hitting zone? Therefore, rotational hitters
> > will hit for more power but will often strike out
> > much more.
> Actually the opposite is the case, and its one of the primary
reasons I've changed from a "Linear" (LM) to "Rotational" (RM)
mechanics coach. We teach hitters to "swing down" to get the
bat to the impact zone as soon as possible. We emphasise
using the wrists, taking the "knob of the bat to the ball", whipping
the bat head, throwing the bat head at the ball, etc., all to develop
batspeed, shorten the length of the swing, as well as to create
some back spin to lift the ball.
> However, since a pitched ball descends at a downward angle
(slight to sharp, depending on the type of pitch), and the bat head
is descending at a downward angle, the bathead is only in the
impact zone for about 3 inches or less. If the path of the bat is
adjusted to match the path of the ball, the potential impact zone
is significantly greater, as long as perhaps 30 inches. Generally
speaking, this means that the path of the bat relative to the
ground will be slightly upward (depending on pitch elevation).
(This is not the same as the infamous "upper cut swing"
problem, which is actually caused by a collapse of lower body
mechanics, not because of dropping the rear shoulder, etc.).
> This appears to be true both in theory and in experience, as the
kids I'm coaching now immediately started making better
contact, even on marginal pitches.
> I think it's possible for very good hitters (e.g. Tony Gwynn) to
use LM successfully, but RM has very clear advantages in terms
> * Lengthed contact zone (swing starts lower, and later)
> * Increased bat speed due to better communication of lower
body torque up into the bat (rotational torque, hips to torso to
shoulders to arms to hands to bat)
> * Increased time to react to movement of a pitched ball, due to
the fact that the hands stay back longer (hitter opens his hips
first with RM; with LM his hands move first, and hips rotate
> Both Jack Mankin's documentation on this site, and Mike
Epstein's (www.mikeepsteinhitting.com) address the specifics.
> Regards.. Scott B
I teach a rotational swing for the most part. I truly believe there
need to be some linear aspects in the swing though. Through
my experience (playing and coaching), if you don't have a little
linear action(I'm not talking hands here, I'm talking feet) you are
going to have a hard time handling breaking balls and
I believe rotational mechanics are unrivaled when hitting
fastballs. And, if you can't hit a fastball you can't play well.
However, at some higher levels there needs to be a touch of
linear mechanics to "stay on" the off speed pitches.
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