Without getting too technical, there are two primary types of hitting mechanics–linear and rotational. The easiest way to differentiate these two approaches is by observing what the “head” is doing during the swing. If the head of the hitter continues to move forward throughout the swing, then this hitter is using linear mechanics. Conversely, if the head of the hitter remains stationary during the swing, this hitter is using rotational mechanics.
Some of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball were “linear” hitters. Henry Aaron, the REAL home run king, was clearly a linear hitter. His body would travel forward powerfully and gracefully during the swing, until he made contact with the ball. He relied on this forward momentum to generate most of his prolific power.
The best hitters today generally are “rotational” hitters. A rotational hitter generates power through the powerful rotation of the body. As a I reviewed in my post titled “Independence Day “https://torque-hitting.com/2013/07/04/independence-day-hitting-key/, rotational hitters generate power through the independent rotation of the lower body and the upper body.
I teach a combination or linear and rotational hitting mechanics. When the front foot of the hitter is lifted during the “load”, the head should remain relatively still. Before the front foot hits the ground, some natural forward movement of the head and body (linear) is inevitable and acceptable. However, after the front foot hits the ground, the forward movement of the body should STOP. By stopping the forward movement of the body, the rotational hitter is creating a barrier to capture the power that was generated during the load. As soon as the front foot hits the ground and this barrier is created, the kinetic rotation of the lower body and then the upper body will create optimal bat speed and power.
I encourage my hitters to hit like a tornado. The forward (linear) movement of a tornado will harm anything in its path. However, the rotation of a tornado causes the most damage. The slowest forward moving tornadoes are the most dangerous, and the ones that actually stop and rotate over an area are the most devastating.
I believe linear-only hitters don’t maximize power that can be generated through the independent rotation of the body. I also believe that rotational-only hitters don’t take advantage of the slight forward movement of the body during the load that will make a contribution to bat speed. I would consider myself to be more of a rotational hitting instructor for baseball and softball players, but I would rather be known as someone who incorporates the best of these two hitting theories. I also don’t want my hitters to be labeled as linear or rotational. I want them to hit like tornadoes!