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Bullpen Mechanics
— A Scout's View

Thursday, August 02, 2007

THT-The Four Greatest HR hitters of Alltime

What can we learn from the powerful swings of Ruth, Aaron, Barry and A-Rod? Here’s the link to the article at THT.

“And although Aaron and Ruth belong to different eras and competed under different circumstances, we stand to learn a lot from analyzing their powerful swings.:

ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: August 02, 2007 at 07:19 PM | 16 comment(s)
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   1. Juan V Posted: August 03, 2007 at 03:37 AM (#2468746)
Great stuff, as usual.

If it is possible, I think it would be cool to compare Koufax in the 50s to Koufax in the 60s.
   2. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 03, 2007 at 03:47 AM (#2468760)
There's a video on youtube of Walter Johnson (its one of the first things that comes up if you search for Walter Johnson..called Walter Johnson Tribute video) with slow-mo video of his motion. In honor of the 100th anniversary of his debut, it would be awesome to see an article analyzing his famously unconventional motion.

But this is great stuff. Thanks as always.
   3. joker24 Posted: August 03, 2007 at 04:29 AM (#2468822)
Is it just me or did I just see Lincecum's "leap" to the plate in Ruth's "caution" swing.
   4. EddieA Posted: August 03, 2007 at 05:20 AM (#2468854)
Pujols, very same thought I had watching the clip.
   5. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: August 03, 2007 at 11:47 AM (#2468910)
Good observation on Lincecum/Ruth. His lateral movement forward is what you've heard me talk about time and time again about leading with the hips and having an aggressive move forward with the hips.
   6. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 03, 2007 at 11:58 AM (#2468915)
1) Notice how he doesn't push or "throw" his hands at the ball. Instead, he "turns the knob" of the bat quickly as his hands (and bat) follow their rotational path.

This is about Aaron. Aaron didn't "turn the knob" (rolling his hands) until after the ball left the bat, so "turning the knob" really isn't the key component to his power. It's the transfer of weight from back leg to front leg, achieved with that compact turn of the hips. After that occurs, the hands have no choice but to follow and "turn over". It's much like a golf swing. The biggest hitters in golf generate tremendous club head speed with that transfer of weight from back leg to front. The hands have something to do with it, but without the transfer of weight you'd have a slap hitter.
   7. Russ Posted: August 03, 2007 at 12:01 PM (#2468918)
I still can't believe that CBW is still writing about this stuff for free instead of getting paid to analyze hitters for a major league organization... the Pirates are spending over $3 million on Matt Morris in the next 2 months. They could do much more for the organization if they had spread that $3 million over the next *3* years and given it to CBW (not to mention the $9.5 million for next year).


I hope someone starts to notice you sometime soon, CBW... it's not that I think you know it "all", but I think your analytical abilities are top notch. I can't imagine what you'd be able to do if you were getting paid (a lot) to do this full time.
   8. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 03, 2007 at 12:22 PM (#2468932)
Also, there is mention of Aaron's tendency to keep his hand in while swinging, even if the pitch isn't inside. Watch a slow-motion-stop action video of a pro's golf swing, and you see the same thing, with the right elbow almost touching the right hip as the club comes through the ball. It seems counter-intuitive that so much power can be generated without "extending the arms" early in the swing(which is something I hear often from TV commentators---as in "he has to be able to extend his arms or else his power is negated"). The arm extension comes well after the ball is struck.
   9. joker24 Posted: August 03, 2007 at 02:54 PM (#2469043)
I still can't believe that CBW is still writing about this stuff for free instead of getting paid to analyze hitters for a major league organization... the Pirates are spending over $3 million on Matt Morris in the next 2 months. They could do much more for the organization if they had spread that $3 million over the next *3* years and given it to CBW (not to mention the $9.5 million for next year).


Forget that: kick Kruk, Phillips, Vina and whoever else they have off of BBTN, let TimLincecumWannabe, Jeff Albert and Hershiser talk pitching and hitting.
   10. OCF Posted: August 03, 2007 at 04:22 PM (#2469127)
Crazy Joe Bivens talking about golf got me thinking about Tiger Woods. Despite already being great and dominant, Tiger has changed his mechanics - "rebuilt his swing" - and he's done it at least twice, suffering a little during the transition periods. Note also that Tiger is bulkier and stronger now than he was when he first came up, and his newer mechanics presumably both require and use that extra strength.

So here's a question for CBW: has Bonds changed his mechanics? In particular, did he make a change in the late '90's that was completed by 2001? And going back further: is there any change between his mechanics in the late '80's and his 1990-92 breakout into superstardom?

[Yes, I know the danger to the thread in me asking this. We know that Bonds got bulkier and stronger, but can we avoid rehashing for the thousandth time how he did that? I want to hear about swing mechanics.]
   11. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: August 03, 2007 at 10:17 PM (#2469984)
Aaron didn't "turn the knob" (rolling his hands) until after the ball left the bat, so "turning the knob" really isn't the key component to his power.

True, but to me, "turning the knob" is indicative of that rotational path. Yes, everyone rolls the wrists over but you'll see plenty of hitters who continue to push the hands well after release. I hate to keep hammering away at the kid, but the Kozma swing clip should show you what "pushing the hands" is all about.

Watch a slow-motion-stop action video of a pro's golf swing, and you see the same thing, with the right elbow almost touching the right hip as the club comes through the ball. It seems counter-intuitive that so much power can be generated without "extending the arms" early in the swing(which is something I hear often from TV commentators---as in "he has to be able to extend his arms or else his power is negated"). The arm extension comes well after the ball is struck.

Beautifully said.

has Bonds changed his mechanics? In particular, did he make a change in the late '90's that was completed by 2001? And going back further: is there any change between his mechanics in the late '80's and his 1990-92 breakout into superstardom?


I don't know, but I'd certainly like to find out...
   12. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 03, 2007 at 10:44 PM (#2470008)
Those were great clips. Those 2 pairs of guys had almost identical swings.
   13. Amit Posted: August 03, 2007 at 11:39 PM (#2470040)

I hope someone starts to notice you sometime soon, CBW... it's not that I think you know it "all", but I think your analytical abilities are top notch.


It's not only that. It's his ability to explain complicated, and inherently non-verbal, concepts in a way that is clear to a fan who knows nothing about this side of the game. Good work, CBW.
   14. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 04, 2007 at 04:01 AM (#2470382)
One of the most common things you hear about old-time players is the assertation that if they played today's game, they wouldn't be the stars they were back then. Looking at Ruth's swing, is there anyone who would doubt he'd be a monster hitter in 2007?
   15. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: August 04, 2007 at 04:46 AM (#2470442)
I hope someone starts to notice you sometime soon, CBW... it's not that I think you know it "all", but I think your analytical abilities are top notch.

It's not only that. It's his ability to explain complicated, and inherently non-verbal, concepts in a way that is clear to a fan who knows nothing about this side of the game. Good work, CBW.


Thanks fellas....

Looking at Ruth's swing, is there anyone who would doubt he'd be a monster hitter in 2007?

I'd think he'd have to cut down on the lateral movement with his body, so it would be a different swing. By the looks of it though, it seems like he was athletic enough to pull it off.
   16. hankonly Posted: August 14, 2007 at 09:26 PM (#2484763)
I'd think he'd have to cut down on the lateral movement with his body, so it would be a different swing. By the looks of it though, it seems like he was athletic enough to pull it off.


I was stunned to see how much the Babe moved forward (thus moving his head). How is it possible to do that and hit well? An attacking swing if ever there was one ...

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