Hitting in Real Life
Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple and may as a rule be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone
While physics seems so logical and trustworthy, it cannot be used to make a 100% realistic model; there are too many forces interacting with each other to calculate, let alone derive, an equation. This page will try to give you real-life advice instead of lecturing more about physics.
When considering the right bat for you, temporarily forget everything we have said about the physics of bats. It does not matter at all if you, the actual player, do not feel comfortable with a particular bat. If you like a heavy bat, go ahead and use it, if you want a longer bat, use it. Just choose a bat you feel comfortable with; don't just use a bat because some big Major League hotshot is using that type of bat. However, if you are a younger/inexperienced player, you might want to start with a lighter bat to get the hang of getting contact with the ball and advance up to heavier bats after you figure out how to make contact consistently.
Now on how to grip the bat. A long time ago, the great Babe Ruth was seen gripping the bat on the edge. Some people started to imitate Babe Ruth. After a few years, players began to "choke up," meaning holding it little bit higher up, to get more control, but they sacrificed power in return. For beginners, choking up is probably better. Making contact is more important than hitting home runs.
For hand placement, you should keep your hands close together, though some hitters like Ty Cobb batted with their hands separate. And like choosing a bat, hold the bat naturally and comfortably. Finally, you should not try to grip the bat as if you are holding it for your dear life. It tightens your muscles, making it harder for you to react.
If you are a inexperienced hitter, you should not think about hitting a home run when you step up to the plate. To hit a home run, many things have to just go right or you will just strike out or hit a pop-up. If you do either, you have only harmed your team. Just put the ball out so that there is chance that you and any other runners on base can advance. Only if you are up in the count or if the game depends on it, should you even attempt to hit a home run.
As with pitching, the key to successful hitting is balance. If you lose your balance, you have already lost. You should first learn the basic stance and build on it as you gain experience. There are many stances you can choose from but the consensus from most coaches is that the parallel stance will give a novice hitter the best chance to hit the ball. You should place yourself in the middle of the batter's box, not too close to the plate but close enough so that the head of the bat is able to cover the outside corner. Your weight should be on your balls of your feet. By having your weight on the balls of your feet, you can react faster. Try rotating your body just using your heels. Hard right? Now try rotating using the balls of your feet. Much easier. You should then bend your waist then your knees. You might notice that bending your knees automatically forces you to put your weight on the balls of your feet.
Where should your bat be? Well, again, it should be where it is comfortable, but the general rule is that the bat should be behind your shoulder and at an angle.
Try to get in a rhythm while waiting for the pitch. Be still and never tense up. Some players like to wind up, spinning their bats before the pitch. While it might help the player's muscles be more relaxed, it also puts additional strain on the batter's shoulders. Some pitchers might try to wait as long as possible by throwing more balls to wear out the batter. So if you want to wind up, it is your call.
The next step is starting your swing. As you are ready to swing, shift your weight to your back leg (it might already be because of your stance) turning your hips back. And right before you swing, transfer your weight to your front leg. As you are transferring your weight, twist your hips, torso, and knees while also swinging the bat. Don't try to make your stride too long. It will make you lose your balance in many cases. The hip action is the most important. A significant amount of power will come from your hips. To do that, you should rotate the balls of your feet, don't just let them stay in the same position.
And finally, you should follow through. As said in the "Physiology of a Swing", following through does not physically make the ball go further. However, you have to follow through to give the maximum power. If you stop midway, you would not have reached your full potential power in your swing.