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Re: Jack: Top hand torque and bat position

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Sun May 6 23:36:31 2007

I was working with my son on his PLT and TLT to see if he could improve upon bat head acceleration early in his swing. I thought we had made a little progress but looking at some video, I think that we have not. He starts with the bat pretty vertical and pulls back and in with his top hand. However, as he reaches his most turned in position, his bat tends to have flattened out more behind him, perpindicular to the pitcher. At this point his rear elbow is up. As his rear elbow drops, because of the somewhat horizontal position of the bat (I'm guessing about 45 degrees, maybe less), there is little movement in the head of the bat. So nothing is gained by the elbow tuck. It appears that the bat head only begins to move as BHT is applied. Obviously a more vertical bat position at the beginning of rear elbow drop would result in the bat head whipping more towards the catcher. Is this a more correct application of THT? Is my understanding correct and is this the change we need to make?

Hi Chuck

Most of the young hitters I have analyzed to not perform PLT efficiently either. Almost all start with a vertical bat. However, the rearward acceleration of their bat-heads slows to a stop at the launch position or the acceleration is to vertical. Hitters like Bonds and Sosa make efficient use of PLT because the rearward acceleration continues right through the launch position and into the plane. At this point, shoulder rotation is initiated and THT continues as the elbow lowers.

I do not teach young hitters PLT mechanics. I have them apply THT from the normal launch position. But, if the batter wants to start with the bat vertical, I explain and demonstrate to them how very important it is to “cleanly” sweep the bat-head behind their head into the swing plane. Not sweeping it cleanly into the swing plane leads to a host of problems. – However, done correctly can produce great results.

Jack Mankin


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