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My son has started working with a new hitting instructor who is preaching NOT letting the top hand come off the bat during the swing.  We had been working on getting my son to extend better through the ball and his top hand would come off occasionally.  Now that he is concentrating on not releasing the bat with his top hand, he has started wrapping the bat around his head on his follow-through and has not been hitting as well.  Occasionally he will make good contact with good extension and his hand will come off the bat.  His instructor will tell him that he hit it well, but keep your top hand on the bat.  I am all for keeping the top hand on the bat through the hitting zone.  This is a must to successful hitting.

This leads me to the question, should a hitter try to keep his top hand on the bat all the way through the finish, or is it OK to let it come off. 

Thoughts?

Tags: hand, hitting, release, top

Views: 654

Replies to This Discussion

My thoughts are that the top hand should remain on the bat through contact and extension which is complete when the wrists turn over. Once the top hand roll is complete so is the extension and the top hand can release.
David, keeping the top hand on helps to continue to reduce rotary inertia and increase hip rotation. A great training aid that will allow your son to accomplish this plus eliminate wrapping the bat around his head is Jaime Cevallos' MP28 Training Bat.
http://www.theswingmechanic.com/
For better hitting,
Del
Addendum: Many of the bigger pro power hitters can use their upper body strength to their advantage. Younger players would benefit from the power that can be generated from the lower body. The MP28 and MP30 training bats can teach a rotational swing with the correct slot position and correct full rotation. Personally, the Cevallos' bats have replaced the Gillespie Power Vest in my T Drills. I wished I had these bats years ago.
I don't think it matters. Look at alot of big leaguers and they let the top hand go off the bat, just make sure it's after contact.
There is no reason why to or not keep the hand on the bat through the follow through. Getting the extension is the key and after that it really does not matter what your hands do as long as you can get out of the box quickly.
David,

As stated below, I don't think it matters either way.However, I feel that both actions can be corective tools for certain flaws. For example, if a hitter is not geting full extension (evident by finishing his wrap-up below his shoulder), I will put him on a tee and begin working with him to release the top hand. However, I would perform many repetitions with him in a controlled environment such as a tee and side toss before moving to over-hand throwing to him.

Now, this is just my opinion, but another time I would teach top-hand release is if my hitter is wrapping the bat up above his head as if he was weilding a sword. This means that he is not allowing the muscles that decelerate the bat to work to their fullest potential ( another sign of not getting full extension). Instead, he is in a sense, slamming on the breaks instead of coming to a smooth stop.
Dave,

When he releases his hand, he finishes with the bat handle above his shoulder and the bat laying down and across his back. When he keeps both hands on the bat, the bat swings around his head, similar to a cowboy with a lasso. I've seen David Ortiz do this a number of times, especially on low-inside pitches.
I think it's okay. Because sometimes it's your bottom hand that you have to extend to reach the ball. And if both hands are on the bat, you won't get the extension that a batter need to hit it especially if the pitcher is pitching on the corners.
Dion,

This I have to somewhat disagree with. Extension is only as good as the top hand takes it. Proper extension through the baseball is done in a palm up/palm down position of the hands. It is a pushing motion that is taking the bat through the zone. 70-80% of the force of that pushing motion is supplied by the top hand. Once the top hand releases, your bottom hand is not going to match the force behind the baseball.

Also, if a hitter is is using his lower half correctly ( rear hip and knee launch) then the hips will in a sense clear a path for the hands to work all the way through the zone. When this occurs, your top hand can actually extend further than your bottom hand due to your front-side opening during extension. When the front side finally opens the rotation of your front shoulder away from the zone and your rear shoulder into the zone causes your front arm to be able to travel less distance that your back arm.

Try this in slo-mo. you will see what I am talking about.
When talking about extension, I use a simple concept -- keep the palm of the top hand up as long as you can. Whether the top hand comes off or stays on, for me, is less important.
Doesn't matter about release. Mlb hitters do it either way. Be concerned with actions ALL mlb hitters have in common, not things they differ on. Release is way down the list of important concepts a hitter must master.
So many people preaching absolutes. There are examples in the MLB of both letting go and holding on. That alone should tell you that its not an absolute. I wouldn't recraft my swing if I was comfortable letting go. Let's face it, the ball is gone, so I don't know how anyone can argue from a physics point of view that it affects the outcome.

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