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Re: Re: Re: Re: Jack, Origin of

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Wed Dec 15 12:54:44 2004

>>> Jack I went out for a hitting session the other day and I did a little experiment,it had to do with loading and what kind of results would be achieved with different loads.A clip of Paul molitor with his rear elbow starting tight to his ribs is what got me thinking about it,since this is very different than what we see with the high elbow in most M.L. hitters.I did my normal load as we see in the Gurrero clip and drove the ball will over 300 feet off the tee.I then did one like Pujols where he starts level with shoulders then raises up and back with elbow,again good results but not comfortable to me.Next I put the elbow tight to my side as I saw in molitor but I also did as he did and drew it up and back about 30 degrees[which is still low.I was surprised that I hit the ball very hard and nearly as far with this method.Last I used the bow string method which may be different for you than as I perceive it and the elbow went straight toward catcher no pulling back toward dugout behind me,the results were quite dismal compared to the others.
My thought on this was that the 1st 3 all loaded the front shoulder identical for me the last did not load the front shoulder well[slack].In fact my 1 arm swing when loaded like the 1st 3 ways hit the ball further than the straigt back method with 2 hands.My conclusion to all this is that properly loading the front shoulder is what is important for my swing and your thumb idea does this for me as does the normal loads we see in swings and the extremes we see in pujols and monitor.>>>

Hi Rql

I agree with your point that pulling the forearm and top-hand back toward the catcher produces poorer results than pulling them toward the third base dugout. I used the term "back toward the catcher" to denote that the top-hand should be pulling rearward during initiation rather than pushing forward toward the "pitcher".

I also agree that the proper loading and unloading of the lead-shoulder is an absolute to generating good bat speed (especially for pitches middle-in). I have received numerous videos of hitters who rotated with the hands back near the shoulder but their bat-head remained lagging far behind shoulder rotation. The problem was that their hands were pulling the knob toward the pitcher instead of the bottom-hand pulling the knob around toward third base.

I use frame-by-frame of the best hitters to show students the productive loading and unloading (shrugging and un-shrugging) that occurs as the shoulders rotate. I point out to them that the un-shrugging of the lead-shoulder starts accelerating the bat-head around the swing plane from initiation to contact by pulling the bottom-hand (and knob) around toward third base.

However, this is all for not if the top-hand is thrusting forward as the swing is initiated. To apply maximum torque to the bat and attain maximum acceleration of the bat-head, the top-hand must be pulling rearward at initiation. -- I have found that touching the thumb to the shoulder helps a batter properly load the lead-side. I have also found that having them keep the thumb touching the shoulder as they start to rotate, keeps the top-hand applying a rearward force that results in greater bat speed.

Rql, as you pointed out with Monitor's swing (starting with the elbow down at the side), good bat speed can be attained with BHT and CHP (unloading of the lead-shoulder - hook in the hand-path) without relying on pre-launch torque or THT. I would agree with this for pitches from the middle-in.

Ron Gant and Matt Williams are also hitters that applied no pre-launch torque and little THT yet put up some good numbers. They could kill anything from the middle-in where they could apply full BHT. However, on outside pitches, they could do little more than just wave at it. Why, because their mechanics generated little early bat-head acceleration and taking their hands out in a wider path limited shoulder rotation, the unloading of the lead-shoulder and the hook in the hand-path. This placed them farther and farther behind the power curve and they wound up just shoving the top-hand at the ball.

I would say in conclusion that THT and pre-launch torque have less benefit with inside pitches but allows the batter to stay with the power curve on outside pitches.

Note: There is additional information on mechanics for hitting outside pitches at, http://www.batspeed.com/messageboard/output/3736.html (a 2001 post)

Jack Mankin


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