What’s Your Angle?

45 degree angleJake Bat Angle

The 5th hitting key (out of 8) is simple to master and will make a big difference for the average hitter.  It seems like every hitter has a unique bat position.  From past vertical to horizontal, everyone “has an angle”.  I contend that no matter where the bat starts, effective hitters eventually get to the same bat position, which is approximately a 45 degree angle, or even less (flatter) before the actual swing. When I ask hitters why they hold their bat vertically (90 degrees), responses are typically “this is just what I do” or “it is the way I was taught.”  In my opinion, the movement of the bat before the swing from vertical (90 degrees) to the ideal power position (45 degrees) is wasted movement.  Too much bat movement before the actual swing encourages a hitter to use the hands and arms to lead the swing.  This will result in less than optimum power and inconsistency. The best hitters will  keep the bat still as long as possible at a 45 degree angle or less. With solid rotational hitting mechanics, the bat should remain perfectly still until the upper body begins rotating violently after the rotation of the lower body. The only movement of the bat head should be as it rotates into the ball.

I also contend that  the way a hitter holds the bat in the fingers at the 45 degree angle set-up also creates “torque”, which will result in greater bat speed.  Try holding the bat upright (90 degrees).  Then, let the bat tilt down a little to 70 degrees, just by changing the angle of the wrist.  You should begin feeling some pressure in the fingers.  Repeat this until the bat gets to the ideal 45 degree angle.  You should feel more and more pressure on the fingers on both hands.  This pressure creates one of several points of torque in the swing that will translate directly into increased batspeed and power.

I was never very good at geometry, but one angle I know is the perfect angle of the bat.  Start with your bat at 45 degrees and keep it there until the kinetic energy generated from the ground travels through the body, ultimately driving the bat into the ball.

That’s my angle on bat position.

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