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Outside pitch ïÿý Linear vs Rot


Posted by: Jack Mankin (mrbatspeed@aol.com) on Wed Apr 7 01:41:21 2004


Hi All

I am starting a new thread for a discussion Ray and I are having (below) on hitting the outside pitch. I believe the exchanges between us is important because it points out the difficulties that can arise when one is describing batting principles from a rotational perspective while the other is responding with linear principles. What may be a good rotational batting principle may appear totally wrong when viewed from the linear perspective.

Rotational concepts for hitting the outside pitch are completely different than the linear principles most of us were taught. We were taught to shift our weight forward and use our arms to extend the hands at the ball. This meant that for pitches middle-in, we basically extended the hands back toward the pitcher. For pitches on the outer portion of the plate, we were told that in order to get good wood on the ball, we should "let the ball get in deeper" before we extended and "hit the inside of the ball." The hand-path would now be going out wider because we are extending the hands not at the pitcher but more toward first base.

With rotational transfer mechanics, generating a wider hand-path for outside pitches is NOT governed by using the arms to extend the hands. The width of the hand-path is governed by how far the shoulders rotate by contact. There is no extension of the lead-arm with rotational transfer mechanics. The lead-arm remains fairly straight from initiation to contact. --- If the swing is initiated correctly, the bat will come to perpendicular to the ball's flight about even with the front-knee regardless of pitch location - no need for going out after it or allowing it to get in deeper.

For pitches from middle-in, the lead-arm remains across most of the chest as the lead-shoulder rotates all the way around to the 105-degree position (past facing the pitcher). By keeping the lead-arm close to the chest, this amount of shoulder rotation pulls the hands around in a fairly tight path, and the bat comes to contact with the back-arm in the "L" position.

Upon seeing a pitch coming to the outside part of the plate, the direction of pull of the top-hand (THT) at initiation causes the lead-arm to start casting away from the chest sending the hands into a wider arc. Therefore, on outside pitches, the shoulder only rotates 70 or so degrees to allow the hands stay in a wider path. The back-arm will have extended past the "L" position but not to the fully extended position (maybe 135 degrees - 45 degrees past the "L" position).

When looking at it from Ray's perspective (arms must extend hands more for outside pitches), it is understandable why he would have serious problems with my principles and performance figures for hitting the outside pitch. Although I have never advocated trying to pull the outside pitch, Ray may have thought I did.

Below is the exchange of our posts.

Jack Mankin

------

>>> jack,

some questions for you. your statements/arguements are not documented.

Jack says "Therefore, I see no benefit in allowing an outside pitch to get any deeper than one down the middle"

What about :

if you take a normal stance with your feet placed so that optimal bat coverage is the center of the plate, then you must extend your hands to have the sweet spot of your bat reach the outside corner of the plate.

let's say that you decided to pull that pitch with say a 15 to 30 degree swing - what happens is that your top hand wrist (with the arms extended) is now, not in a position of strength. the further you extend and the further you pull, the more the wrist starts to break, with even a very strong potential to roll on contact.

try a simple experiment. take a dry swing simulating extending your arms to hit the outside pitch and pulling (15 degree pull). stop your bat at what would be the moment of contact with the ball. LOOK AT YOUR TOP HAND WRIST.
now, take a dry swing extending your arms, but this time simulate hitting the ball late by 15 degrees. stop your bat at the moment of contact. LOOK AT YOUR TOP HAND WRIST.
take it one step further and do the same swings, but this time as you stop your bat at the simulated moment of contact, have someone push on your bat back toward the catcher while you try to keep the bat where it is. in which position are your wrists stronger (pulling or late)?


Jack says "Some of the longest homeruns ever recorded were on outside pitches hit straightaway or pulled to left center."

which ones? by whom? what percentage of outside pitches? how does this compare to longest homeruns recorded on inside pitches?

Jack says "Some of the games best hitters have moved a few inches farther from the plate and attack most balls as outside pitches."

which ones? how do you know this? what percentage of good hitters do this?

Jack says "If hitting the outside pitches, the other-way is the only way to go, why is a good percentage of their hits straightaway or to the pulled side?"

what ARE the percentages (outside pitch pulled vs. going the other way)? <<<

------

Hi Ray

Big Mac, for one, moved farther from the plate.

First of all, I do not, nor have I ever advocated pulling the ball - except to get the meat of the bat on the ball when jammed with a pitch. I have always maintained that regardless of pitch location, batters should practice timing their swings to hit the ball hard and straight-away (bat perpendicular to the path of the incoming ball). If the ball is met a little early - it will be hit to the pulled side - a little late - the ball is hit to the opposite field. The important thing is to hit the ball hard.

You stated, "let's say that you decided to pull that pitch with say a 15 to 30 degree swing - what happens is that your top hand wrist (with the arms extended) is now, not in a position of strength." - Ray you seem to be describing a batter with linear transfer mechanics. A good rotational hitter using THT can rotate his shoulders 65 or 70 degrees and still reach the outside part of the plate with the meat of the bat. With this shoulder position his bat will be pointing at the second baseman (45+ degrees past perpendicular) when his back-arm reaches full extension. He only needs to rotate the bat 5 degrees past perpendicular to pull the ball left of center. From this contact position, the back-arm is not near full extension. - Granted, a batter with linear mechanics may reach full extension of the arms before the bat reaches perpendicular. I would agree he should think opposite field only.

It is your opinion that I am wrong and outside pitches can only be hit really hard to the opposite field. You feel you have proved that long home runs to the pulled side of center is impossible for pitches on the outside part of the plate and therefore just a figment of my imagination. I sense that there is no prove I could offer that would satisfy you. Therefore, I suggest we just say as gentlemen, that we agree to disagree and let it go at that.

Jack Mankin

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Jack,

First, let me say that I will act gentlemanly. Second, I will not "agree to disagree and let it go at that." Third, I will reveal my true opinion and feelings. Fourth, I will again ask you questions, which I would hope you will answer.

Let me begin by stating that your post on Thu Apr 1 23:55:50 2004 is addressed to "BHL and All", and that your first paragraph promises to list observations "that we can expand upon with your comments, questions or disagreements." You have invited us to comment, to question, and to expand with any disagreements. And when I have done so, you dismiss me.

Your quote - "It is your opinion that I am wrong and outside pitches can only be hit hard to the opposite field."½

That is NOT my opinion. Where (in my entire post) did I state that you were wrong. Please tell me where I even implied it. I merely made a statement, and supported that statement. And I don't believe that outside pitches can only be hit hard to the opposite field. Where did I say that? If you had read my post "been there, done that" on Sat Mar 27 12:55:42 2004 , you would know that I advocate hitting the outside pitch "anywhere from 15 degrees late to directly back in the direction of the pitch but not pulling it."

Your quote - "You feel you have proved that long home runs to the pulled side of center is impossible for pitches on the outside part of the plate and therefore just a figment of my imagination."

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT I FEEL? Exactly where in my post did I convey that feeling? Where did I state that it was "impossible" How can you draw a conclusion about what I FEEL? That it's all just a figment of your imagination? What you have done, Jack, is made a series of statements without offering any examples, any data , any documentation. All I did was ask you how you could support your claims.

Jack - "I sense that there is no prove I could offer that would satisfy you."

Your senses are wrong. There is proof that would satisfy me, just answer my questions after your statements. I'm afraid one example (Big Mac) is not sufficient for me.
Whenever I formulate and express an OPINION, it isn't necessary to (though often, I do) support it with documentation of sorts. But you have made STATEMENTS, and given your stature, influence, and responsibility, once you have stated something for prospective hitters to follow, you should back it up.

Your quote - "You stated, 'let's say that you decided to pull that pitch with say a 15 to 30 degree swing - what happens is that your top hand wrist (with the arms extended) is now, not in a position of strength.' and then you said, "Ray you seem to be describing a batter with linear transfer mechanics."
Please explain to me how you could have arrived at that conclusion from my statement? How did I "seem" to be describing linear transfer mechanics?

One last comment/question:

Your quote - "A good rotational hitter using THT can rotate his shoulders 65 or 70 degrees and still reach the outside part of the plate with the meat of the bat. With this shoulder position his bat will be pointing at the second baseman (45+ degrees past perpendicular) when his back-arm reaches full extension. He only needs to rotate the bat 5 degrees past perpendicular to pull the ball left of center. From this contact position, the back-arm is not near full extension."

I truly do not understand, what you mean here. Do you mean that a good rotational hitter using THT does not have to extend? An by not extending, not placing the top hand wrist in a weak position?

I believe ANYONE setting up (stance in box) for optimum coverage of a pitch (sweet spot of bat) to the center of the plate MUST extend (body tilt, shoulders, arms, hands, bat) 8 inches to get the sweet spot on a pitch to the outside edge.

Can you show a batter with same location in the box using THT, hitting a pitch over the center of the plate and then over the outside corner without extending, thereby demonstrating what you stated?

ray porco <<<

------

Hi Ray

I find little worth responding to in your last post but I will address some more of your questions from your first post.

>>>(1) Jack says "Some of the longest homeruns ever recorded were on outside pitches hit straightaway or pulled to left center."

which ones? by whom? what percentage of outside pitches? how does this compare to longest homeruns recorded on inside pitches? <<<

There may have been other hitters that pulled outside pitches over 500+ feet, however the two clips I was referring to are by Sammy Sosa and Big Mac. I am sure there has been longer home runs hit but I have no clips to verify the pitch location

>>>(2) Jack says "Some of the games best hitters have moved a few inches farther from the plate and attack most balls as outside pitches."

which ones? how do you know this? what percentage of good hitters do this?<<<

There may have been other hitters that have moved away but the ones I recall from my study were Big Mac, Juan Gonzales and Julio Franco (not sure of the spelling). My records show about one or two percent made that change.

>>>(3) Jack says "If hitting the outside pitches, the other-way is the only way to go, why is a good percentage of their hits straightaway or to the pulled side?"

what ARE the percentages (outside pitch pulled vs. going the other way)? <<<

I have no records on this, but my best guess would be that 75 to 85 percent of balls hit by batters with more linear mechanics would hit outside pitches to the opposite field and I would guess about 50/50 for good rotational hitters. Bonds pulls about everything regardless of where it is pitched. If a pitcher felt he could not pull an outside pitch - that is about all he would ever see. I am sure the same would be true for other home run hitters.

Jack Mankin


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