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Posted by: Jack Mankin (mrbatspeed@aol.com) on Thu Mar 4 17:38:23 2004


>>> Jack,

I do not know the biomechanical principles for it, but it is observable to some degree in virtually all good major league hitters. With that, here is my take on it:

I would say scap load helps lock in the arm/hands to the shoulder so that at the beginning of shoulder rotation the hands stay with the shoulders, which I believe is critical to a good swing. The scap load results (my opinion) in the slight "inward turn" of the front shoulder we see in most good hitters. As scap load occurs some batters (Bonds, Sheffield) tilt the bat forward, thus starting their torqueing of the bat. However, for others, I would say any THT starts after the scap load. Scap load also appears in many hitters to be part of their timing mechanism.

If I have understood you correctly you have stated from time to time that THT and Scap Load are names for the same thing. I don't see it that way. However, we are now on one of the subject areas where I still am not totally clear: THT

A while back I wrote this on the HS Board:

THT: Perhaps we can get to the bottom of it here: if I hold a bat out in front of me pointing to the sky, I have several movements I can make involving my wrists, lower arm. (1) I can move the bat away from me in a hammering type of move. (1a)I also have a little range of motion toward me, opposite the way I would hammer something. (2) I can also move the bat left and right, about 90 degrees in each direction. Shefield exagerates this move. (3) I can combine these activities and make the end of the bat go in more of a circular motion.

To me the activities of the swing involving the hands. wrists would go 1a, 2, 1 in that order. I believe 1a and 2 are done in a more of a circular manner. Are 1a and 2 Top Hand Torque? Or is there something else? Which clips do we have that show this the most clearly.

Jack, I know I've expanded the discussion, but I think it cans shed some light on what form me has been a difficult concept to grasp. <<<

Hi Nick

You stated, “I would say scap load helps lock in the arm/hands to the shoulder so that at the beginning of shoulder rotation the hands stay with the shoulders, which I believe is critical to a good swing. The scap load results (my opinion) in the slight "inward turn" of the front shoulder we see in most good hitters. As scap load occurs some batters (Bonds, Sheffield) tilt the bat forward, thus starting their torqueing of the bat. However, for others, I would say any THT starts after the scap load. Scap load also appears in many hitters to be part of their timing mechanism. “

Nick, what you have just described as “scap load” was first defined by me as “Pre-Launch Torque.” This was before Paul would even accept the fact that great hitters apply forces to the bat that first accelerate the bat-head in an arc back toward the catcher before rotating and directing their energy toward the ball. For the bat-head to be accelerated in an arc back toward the catcher during pre-launch, the direction of force of the top-hand must also be pulling back toward the catcher.

I termed this phase of applying torque as “Pre-launch” because it occurs as the batter is preparing the launch position and before body rotation is initiated and the swing is fully launched. Once the swing and rotation are initiated, I termed this phase of applying torque as “Top-Hand-Torque.” Another reason I separated the two phases of applying torque is because some great hitters (Big Mac is an example) do not accelerate the bat-head while setting up their launch position. They start with the bat behind their head and initiate the swing with THT only.

Would Paul say that hitters like Big Mac do not use “scap loading?” Is it only applied during pre-launch movements?

Jack Mankin


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