Stadium Dugout Announcer's Booth Batting Cage Bullpen Behind the Plate

## The Swing

Every great hitter works on the theory that the pitcher is more afraid of him than he is of the pitcher.
- Ty Cobb, Detroit Tigers outfielder

As the hitter sees the ball approaching him, he shifts the weight from his back leg to his front leg as he "steps into the pitch." He then twists his body, transferring considerable energy to the bat.

The hand and the bat initially travel at 40 mph, but at the point when the bat meets the ball, the hand and the bat will travel in excess of 70 mph. Since the bat is swung at such a high speed, it has been calculated that even 1/100 sec may make a difference between a home run and a pop out.

Most coaches often advise hitters to "follow through." Does following through help the hitter hit the ball better? Yes and no. While following through has no influence on the path of the baseball after it hits the ball, it does insure proper position and motions prior to swinging the bat. So, yes, hitters should try to follow through the hit.

Where should the hitter hold the bat? The position the hitter holds the bat is crucial in the hitter's performance. Hitting at the end of the bat gives more power but also at a price. If the hitter holds the bat at the end, the hitter is able to swing in a longer arc. And if the hitter swings in a longer arc, more power is generated:

velocity = angular velocity * radius
Velocity is equal to angular velocity (velocity of the swing) times the radius of the arc

If hitters use longer arcs, less precision timing is needed because of the larger radius. However, since the hitter has to swing in a longer arc, the hitter has to commit himself earlier or has to swing earlier before making a better decision on the pitch.

If the hitter holds higher up, the hitter can swing quicker thus having more time to determine the type of pitch. However, the hitter gives up power for the advantage of more precise swings.