-there's only one way to become a hitter.
The Most Important Part of The Game:
When we go to a ball park to watch a game, we want to see one thing: a hit. No one remembers the shortstop who turns the inning ending double-play. No one remembers a stolen base. No one remembers the outfielder who tracked down a ball in deep center. When it comes down to it, we vividly remember the hitter. Only the hitter.
The beauty of baseball is that, regardless of our experience, it always seems so simple. However, that's pretty far from the truth. Hitting a ball is, without a doubt, the single most difficult task to accomplish in any sport. Baseball is a traditional sport. We hold on to our methods, styles, and teachings... sometimes for too long. In the end, this does the game and its players a disservice. Even today, baseball coaches find little common ground when it comes to the science of hitting a ball.
Some of the information out there is very good. However, many of the lessons being taught today are setting baseball back as far as 10 or 20 years. Everyone knows how to hit - but very few really do. Ultimately, as hitters we must do one thing: arm ourselves with the best information possible. Then, we can become successful at the most difficult task in sport: hitting a moving ball.
How often do you hear these (awful) phrases?
- swing down/level at the ball.
- squish the bug.
- hit the top half of the ball.
- hitting the top half of the ball gives it backspin.
- don't stride.
- hands (or knob) to the ball.
- straight hand path.
- short or compact swing.
- don't dip your shoulder.
- hit ground balls.
- line up your door knocking knuckles
Copyright © 2013 Dominic Saturday
The truth: Every single one of these phrases keeps baseball and softball stuck in the past.
Major League Baseball players do not swing like this. They never have and they definitely never will. Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, and Babe Ruth never "squished the bug." They never attempted to "hit the top half of the ball." They never "threw their hands/knob of the bat to the ball."
Why do coaches want hitters to hit ground balls? The biggest and emptiest part of the field is the outfield. Guess what!? There are only 3 players out there in all of that grass. There are 6 players in the infield. Area-wise, the infield is much smaller than the outfield.
Rotational hitting certainly is not the only way to hit a moving ball. However, it is the best way to hit a moving ball.
The bat speed produced with a rotational swing is incomparable to that of others. With a rotational swing, a hitter can consistently hit the ball with power to all fields. It's simple. Rotational hitting is used in both baseball and softball (yes, girls can hit this way too!). The rotational swing allows hitters to produce the greatest hit in baseball or softball: the home run.
First you should know who uses (or used) a rotational style swing:
- Ted Williams (hit .406 in 1941)
- Babe Ruth
- Mickey Mantle
- Barry Bonds (all time home-run leader)
- Sammy Sosa
- Albert Pujols
- Josh Hamilton
- Vlad Guerrero
- AND JUST ABOUT EVERY OTHER MAJOR LEAGUER!
In terms of the swing, rotational hitting can be easily identified.
- a slight upward swing (bat path).
- hard line drives and looooooooong fly balls.
- body rotating in sequence.
- lead with your hips
- circular (not STRAIGHT) hand path.
- a stiff front leg with a solid and identifiable axis.
- wrists unbroken at contact (palm up-palm down).
- torque, torque, and more torque.
I won't detail each of these trademark rotational hitting signs in this section.
If you want to learn the best way to hit, visit the "Our Method" page for an in-depth analysis.
The facts are there! Visit "The Proof" page for undeniable photo and video evidence!
Do you want to know where hitting ground balls will get you? Back on the bench after you take off your batting gloves and hang your helmet up.
Why do coaches tell hitters to hit the top half of the ball for ground balls? Pitchers learn at a young age to "get ground balls." Does this make any sense? Hitters should be doing the opposite of what pitchers want them to do!
Big leaguers step foot on the field for a reason: they are the best at what they do! Why do coaches not want to emulate what big league ball players do?! Why do coaches think they are smarter than the greatest hitters who've ever lived?
A quick suggestion: if you are currently spending money on lessons with these horrible cues, you might as well be throwing your cash down the drain.
Mickey Mantle Hitting a Home-Run: notice his front leg is straight, his arms are connected to the rotation of his hips, and his back foot is off the ground! (produced by a tremendous amount of ROTATION)
An Overview of The Swing
Do you think it's a coincidence that Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle look almost identical? Definitely not! Both players used the same explosive rotational mechanics! We should try to hit like them!
Gia Saturday bombing a home-run. Look at those rotational mechanics!
Copyright John G. Zimmerman
Copyright Life Magazine
Keeping the bat in the hitting zone as long as possible is the most important aspect of rotational hitting. The ball is 3-4 feet in front of home plate, and the bat is perfectly parallel with the plane.