As I was watching batting practice at Wrigley Field before the Cubs played the Cincinnati Reds, Todd Frazier caught my eye. Frazier is the hot hitting third baseman for the Reds, who is currently on pace to hit 50 doubles and 50 home runs this season. What struck me was the position of his hands at set-up, just before he initiated his swing. As I wrote in previous posts and what I strongly believe, there is a direct correlation between hand/bat position at set-up and bat speed. In the picture above, Frazier’s hands are as far back toward the catcher as possible. His left arm is actually totally stiff as he prepares to swing. He is in the perfect hitting position!
Ideal Hand Position: https://torque-hitting.com/2013/06/21/the-calm-before-the-lightning/
During the game, I videotaped one of his at-bats, which turned out to be a long double over the center fielder’s head. The video clearly illustrates that Frazier moves his hands back to ensure he has ample “runway” to generate enough hand speed to consistently hit for power. You may notice that he doesn’t start with his hands all the way back toward the catcher. He moves them back simultaneously with his powerful load (lifting of his front leg). Frazier is a professional hitter, so he can get away with this subtle hand movement. I ask my high school and college hitters to move their hands back at set-up and keep them still as long as possible, until the rotation of the body ultimately forces the hands to move.
Hitting instructors who teach their hitters to keep their hands close to their body to be “quick to the ball” are providing bad advice. With a bat speed radar, I can prove that hitters who keep their hands back as far as possible before the swing will actually be quicker to the ball and will enjoy more power. Many hitters who keep their hands close to their bodies before the swing look like they are pushing the bat into the ball.
The Truth About Hand Position: https://torque-hitting.com/2013/12/14/whats-better-a-quicker-bat-or-faster-bat/
I don’t have much more to say about this, because it is a very simple concept. Moving the hands back toward the catcher before initiating the swing is one of the easiest and most effective adjustments baseball and softball hitters can make.