Falsehoods Of Hitting 2

This is the second article in this series. Check back here every week for another Falsehood Of Hitting.

Swing Down:

We have all heard as hitters that you should have a level swing, or even worse, to swing down at the ball.

Let’s look at Mike Trout again.

The barrel of the bat must be below your hands at contact.

The correct swing path is slightly up. Here’s why.

The pitcher is throwing from a mound that is higher than the hitter. Plus, most times his arm is higher still. He is actually throwing down hill. Therefore, the plane of the baseball is coming down toward the hitter. The red arrow represents the path of the ball.

Trout's swing is not down. He brings his bat around him and upward into the ball. I guess you could say that from where his hands start in his stance, that the start of his swing is down, but his bat is clearly traveling slightly upward at contact.

By swinging slightly up, you keep your bat on the same plane as the ball for a longer time. (Between the Blue lines). You can hit the ball hard anywhere between the blue lines. And by staying on the same plane as the ball longer, if you are a little early with the swing, you will pull the ball. A little late, like in the illustration, the ball will be deeper in the strike zone allowing you to still hit this pitch to your opposite field.

An upward swing makes it possible to bring the bat around you creating bat speed behind you. You want your maximum bat speed at contact so you create it behind you.

This upward swing is what causes the "tilt" of your shoulders and makes it much easier to keep your eye on the ball.

This hitter is swinging down on the ball. And, since the plane of the ball is down, the only spot his bat is in the plane of the ball is right where it shows contact in the drawing.

With this bat path, if he doesn’t make contact at that one spot where his bat cuts through the flight of the ball, he will either be too early or too late. He is cutting through the plane of the ball instead of staying on the plane of the ball.

There is no bat head movement behind this hitter so there is very little bat speed generated. No "whip".

This choppy, swing is the result of swinging down on the ball.

This hitter’s weight is clearly forward too much. And by swinging down, your top hand will roll over way to soon. That’s a ground ball to your pull side.

There is no way you can keep your top hand palm up with this swing.

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