A How-To Guide: Proper Hitting Mechanics

This is far from surprising, but hitting at the Major League level is really hard. For a 95 mile-per-hour fastball coming at you from just 60 feet, players have 425-450 milliseconds from the time the ball is released until it gets to home plate. During that time, hitters have to not only recognize the type of pitch blazing towards them but be in the position to hit that pitch 400-plus feet. To do that, having the proper learned mechanics is essential for hitting success of any kind at any level.

Aside from the centuries-old adage of keeping your eyes on the ball, here are three hitting mechanical steps that are essential:

Positioning

A mechanically sound hitter needs a proper body stance, which means keeping your legs wider than your shoulders. It also means a firm front side, with your inside leg straight and set. That’ll keep the rest of your body and hands behind the baseball so you can generate speed and power with your swing. 

Additionally, your body weight should be concentrated on the ball of your inside foot, where the power of the swing will originate from. Your knees should be slightly bent and locked into position, and your hips should be underneath and in line with your shoulders, keeping your back and your butt straight.

Generating power

Those knees need to stay tight so you can generate torque with the rest of your lower body, especially your feet and hips. Your back hip and leg need to stay aligned, with your eyes and body facing the pitcher and the ball.

As you’re doing that with your lower body, be mindful to keep your batting stance upright and relaxed, with your hands passive as you generate most of the torque from the lower body with your front elbow slightly lowered. Your hands should be above armpit level, with your knuckles forming a straight line down the bat.

Driving your swing forward

Finally, make sure your hands move back as you pull the trigger on your swing. Your bottom hand should pull down before relaxing, but your top hand should remain firm. Your arms will push forward as you connect with the baseball, swinging level or up on the baseball to a create launch angle. That will ensure the baseball goes in the air, properly taking advantage of the torque and power you generated.