The Baseball Swing

Stance

The stance is the foundation of a good swing.  A bad stance makes it much harder to make a good swing.

  • Feet about 4-5 inches wider than shoulders, mostly square.
  • 60% weight on back foot.
  • Knees bent.
  • 20-25 degree bend at the waist.
  • Spine angle tilted back towards the back foot 10-15 degrees
  • Grip with knuckle alignment – they should be able to open their hands on the handle and the hands will be facing each other.
  • Hands even with back shoulder vertically and behind horizontally. Pitcher should not see both hands from the mound.,
  • Lead elbow bent and pointing down and back elbow up. Lead elbow is across the chest.
  • Bat should be roughly 45 degree angle pointing at the catcher.

Swing

Swing as hard as you can while maintaining balance and control throughout the swing.

  • Small stride / toe tap.
  • Keep the head still.
  • Maintain spine angle in both axes.
  • Bring the handle to the ball, barrel will follow.
  • Maintain the angles of the elbows and bat to hands set at address until after impact.
  • Keep the feet quiet.
  • Hands above ball at impact.
  • Swing plane should match the pitch.  High strikes create more horizontal swing planes. Lower strikes the opposite. The more the swing plane matches the pitch, the longer the bat is in the strike zone.
  • Finish high – depends on the pitch but should be at least shoulder height.  Lower pitches, steeper swing plane, higher finish.

Professional Swings

The two key takeaways from these examples are:

  1. The position of the hands just after the front foot plants and where they set them to start their forward motion.
  2. How the head does not move forward once the front foot plants and they start their forward motion.

Most of the players have a large leg kick / stride that I don’t want the kids to emulate at this point. If we can get their hands in the correct starting position combined with keeping their head still during the swing, they will be become better and more powerful hitters.

Mike Trout

Josh Donaldson

Nolan Arenado

Mookie Betts

Albert Pujols

Vlad Guerrero Jr

Jose Altuve

Fernando Tatis Jr

Ronald Acuna Jr

Mark McGwire

Ken Griffey Jr