I missed that announcement.
But I suggested it a bit ago. I was concerned about spin.
Go up a swingweaight or two on your driver and you will feel the difference but sometimes it forces you to stay more connected too.
I like this LoMo a lot. It seems weird that guys don't experiment more with bats.
Much has been made of Logan Morrison's new heavy bat. Bamm! Bamm! Bamm bamm BAMM!
By sheer coinky-dink, it's the size of Nelson Cruz' BOOM stick. He went up one inch and two ounces. In golf this would read as, "put the 4-iron back in the bag and hand me the oversize driver." From a fairway lie. Dr. D isn't sure that he has heard of a batter clubbing up two ounces between games. Well, not that Dr. D inhabits clubhouses.
Jack Nicklaus was in a little cartoon book on golf. He asked, "Want to make this golf season more fun? Take one more club than you first thought of, and I promise it will be." The simplest, easiest way to cut strokes. And maybe the only way to improve with zero effort, other than avoiding the course altogether. Mo' can check me on that.
Somewhere in a biology class or a lit class or something, Dr. D heard that [ENERGY] increases as [MASS] and [VELOCITY] increase. So if you could swing a 100-pound bat just as fast as your 2-pounder, like Bam Bam Rubble does, that's what you'd do. And then you'd clock 119 MPH off the bat.
But as the bat gets heavier and heavier, the swing starts to slow down -- in a parabolic curve. As it gets lighter and lighter, you lose lots of mass without gaining much velocity at all.
Without quibbling about it -- hey, I couldn't even hit high school pitching -- most MLB players seem to see the energy return as something like this:
But Cruz is up there at +2 or +3 ounces heavier, and Morrison tried it. He is since 13-for-26 with seven extra base hits. He's gone from a 41 OPS+ to 100-ish in six games and they're intentionally walking him like he was Barry Bonds.
The question, of course, is whether you stay quick. In the 4th inning on Tuesday, Garrett Richards fired a 97 MPH bullet to Morrison and LoMo pulled it for a double into the power alley. So maybe you can 'splain it to me: why would you use a lighter bat?
Keep in mind, 31 vs 32 vs 33 ounces ... that's not a law of physics. Babe Ruth used 45-55 ounces! And they threw 90-95 MPH back then too, brother. Bryce Harper right now is experimenting with 47 ounces in the cage.
Bill James is staunchly in favor of at least experimenting with very heavy bats. Dr. D loves the general idea too. But this isn't a general idea. Logan Morrison is larger than Nelson Cruz, right?
Hey, have you seen the Terminator's attempt to human-smile in the new trailer:
Last week, SABRMatt pointed out that LoMo was popping the ball up to center field a lot. Dr. D followed on with the opinion that this meant he was this much behind where he wanted to be.
Why would a heavier bat get him out in front better, get him pulling the ball better? Maybe it's just being more conscious of getting out in front. To be the BOOM stick, you must think BOOM stick, grasshopper.
Also, Mike Zunino has looked 1,000% better at the plate the last four games. He's letting the pitch get real deep, and then he's getting on it real quick. That was the way with his ground-rule double Tuesday to win the game OH WAIT NO IT DIDN'T WE USED FARQUHAR.
The Angels are the #29 offense in baseball this year so far. Hey, that lineup is stocked - they were an elite offense last year, and changed one player. (Okay, one and a half.) Sometimes a team just has a slow month. Maybe we've both played the Astros or something.
I'm enjoyin' this,
I missed that announcement.
Give Ackley one of those bats! And have him wear some women's under as well.
But what do you mean about spin?
'Forces you to stay more connected' also goes over my head a bit ... as Blowers put it "you don't want your bat swinging you." But the way LoMo is getting around on upper 90's heat how could that even be a concern? ...Maybe against LHP's.
Ron Fairly would talk about the old joke where a switch-hitter would send the bat boy in to get his "left-handed bat." But some players do that. The next logical step would be a guy like LoMo having one bat for LHP's and one for RHP's...
But has Popeye forearms. What do you want to bet there is soon an epidemic of heavier bats around that clubhouse? And Ackley would be my first choice too. Then Hercules behind the plate back there. Ruggiano and Smith mayhaps.
And Felix naturally interleague. Go 47 ounces. If nothing else it's a story.
In golf all things being equal more clubhead speed = more spin. Modern golf balls are actually designed with multi-covers and cores to control spin off the driver and allow spin off the irons....based on clubhead speed. Elite golfers are always trying to match a particular ball's characteristics to their own needs.
If a lighter bat = more bat speed does that translate to more ball spin? I don't know (a pitched baseball being spinning when hit unlike a golf ball) but if it does then it may be fair to assume that some batters could benefit spin-wise (and ball flight-wise) from a slower bat speed.
That was legit hilarious.
I do think Zunino should go to a heavy bat. It would force him not to get out in front of off-speed and not to waste any motion at the plate.
I've thought that too Matt. I would like to see him choke up a bit...just because it subconsciously keeps you from swinging for the fences all the time.
Last year I thought Smoak needed a lighter bat. I'm not a one trick pony.
... and even if you did tend to recommend heavier bats Moe it could be that the bats are too light industrywide...
Goes without saying that your sage advice has thought behind it...
I'm by no means an expert; I've never actually played anything higher than Little League. So take this with a grain - or garbage bin - of salt.
When I was going to college I had a dog that needed exercise. I went and bought a bat and a dozen balls and since my front yard was 360' deep from my porch to the road I started whacking balls that way every day when I came home from school. When I started out I had a 34inch 33oz bat with a flared knob and a thick handle. The farthest I could hit a ball just throwing it up to myself was about 300' to start with. Then after maybe two months of daily practice I got up to 360' on more than half of my swings (my whole family is plain old 'country strong').
The problem was that I didn't like the feel of the bat - which was a wooden regulation bat - so I went to the sporting goods store and bought three more of varying lengths and weights. After experimenting with them for another six months I found that the thin-handled flared knob Louisville Slugger at 34inch 31oz was the sweet spot for me. I could launch more than 1/4 of the balls I tossed up to myself just over 400' - my best ever was 430 in the air using a regulation bat and ball since I actually measured it with a roller after smacking it Throughout my experimentation I played around with famous batting stances and learned a whale of a lot about how the stance impacts the swing path.
What I found with heavy bats (heaviest I had was 35oz) was that they were far less 'nimble' in my hands and I *think* it's primarily because I have longer than average arms. I had to cheat on my swing and get my weight back farther than was natural in order to get the barrel into an aggressive position consistently. But my neighbor had short fireplug arms and he much preferred the heavy bats. This was what got me thinking about arm length being a factor though I'm not educated enough on the subject to make any declarations.
It *seems to me* that longer arms would permit a hitter to get more leverage on a bat's swing plane and could therefore rely more heavily on the VELOCITY factor of the swing than the MASS factor whereas my neighbor had a shorter stroke but he could still get the ball 360' consistently. He however preferred shorter bats than I used so he choked up an inch or two on my heavy bat. This *seems* borne out to my untrained eye when I see long-bodied hitters with those Adam Laroche swings that seem to go for days contrasted by Carlos Pena-type hitters who seem to have much 'shorter' swing paths - or for a closer-to-home example Ken Griffey Jr. vs. Bret Boone. One had the beautiful long arcing swing and the other looked like he was chopping down a forest.
Anyway I doubt this particular post contributes too much but it seems like limb length should come somewhere into the conversation about bat length/weight.
Have you called Guinness? 'Country strong' indeed. That's more like Cro-Magnon strong. Wow. Told you that SSI kept a better class of clientele.
... I like your thought about heavy wood for chest-swingers like Thome who keep the hitter's triangle.
An odd contradiction here: Cruz though having very strong hands holds half his bottom hand off the bat. Implying a whippy swing. Or not? He keeps both hands on through the finish.
with his ring and pinky fingers down below the knob. I haven't seen any video except of Cruz' highlights from this year but I remember being surprised that he and only he (from what I could see) did this. Even Bonds choked up like a leadoff hitter when he was BARRY BONDSing his way into and out of the history books.
Here's a few pictures of 'Gar which while not as exaggerated as I remember show what I'm talking about:
And this one shows his follow-through where it's clear that his pinky was never in contact with the knob at any point:
This one's a little less conclusive but a good shot nonetheless:
Huh after researching it I'm finding my memory to be less reliable than I'd expected (go figure!). Seems he wasn't as exaggerated as I recall.
As for the cannon shots on the front lawn you have to understand that I was bench-pressing 310lbs (using legit technique with a No-Cal semi-pro weight lifter spotting me) as a sixteen year old weighing all of 160lbs *out* of wrestling season (said weight lifter encouraged me to compete but I was too focused on the family business). I once box squatted 550lbs with the same guy spotting me and a 45 degree leg press of 600lbs was while not *easy* nothing I couldn't rep a half dozen times in quick succession. My uncle was a minor star full-contact Tae Kwon Doe heavyweight back in the 80's (took third in Nationals but would have won if not for the incumbent's likely corrupt connection to the judges) and by our (meaning my uncle and I) relative fifteenth years we could both buck 50lb haybales one-handed--onto the top of a fully-stacked truckload of hay. Of course in the interests of full disclosure he could do 65lb hay bales one-handed while I maxed out at 50lb'ers. I never really got over that growing up and blamed my longer-than-usual arms for the shortcoming.
Combine that with a brain that never shuts off and I was able to analyze batting stances follow-throughs grip techniques etc.. for about six years during the peak of my M's fandom. It was a fun thing to think about and kept me from going nuts :-) The end results was that I could grip-it-and-rip-it with the best of them though I doubt I could ever hit a curveball--I had enough trouble hitting a simulated 90mph straight pitch at the cages.
"Fungo" eh? I never actually knew that's what they were talking about when they used that term but indeed you are correct. I always thought it was just the term for a different kind of bat but now I see that it's got broader definition. You learn something every day (that you visit SSI/D-O-V)!
And ya even without looking back at the old pics there you go. Edgar with the pinky wrap the ability to pull the hands in and use the "hitter's box" yet the ability to whip the bat too.
I guess Nelson Cruz is in for an epic age 34-38 run :- )
was that it 'locked' my lead wrist to the bat whereas when I choked up I ended up with a very 'choppy' swing when my drive hand would rotate over my lead hand-thus encouraging me to get pull-happy since that was the only way to control *when* in the swing path my wrists rolled over. The upside of the 'choppy' swing was that if I got my pitch in my spot I could turn on the ball and lift it with the Lord's own vengeance. But having the lead hand lowered like Edgar forced *me* into a more level inside-out swing where I had to tuck my drive elbow and literally spin my torso in order to react to anything on the inside - in my mind's eye it was a pretty close parallel to how Edgar swung during his later career (I wasn't really paying attention during his prime unfortunately).
When I would use a standard knob (I always thought of them as 'flat' or 'mushroom' knobs having never been exposed to the proper vernacular for the sport) I have a hard time hanging my pinky down like Edgar does because it sort of messes with my lead arm; my wrist isn't as 'connected' to the barrel of the bat when I lower my grip on a standard knob but on a flared knob it feels incredibly natural to do so - I consciously feel more aggressive and composed while gripping a flared knob like Edgar did and much more defensive when gripping a standard knob in a similar fashion. The funny part is the reverse doesn't hold true both ways: I can grip a flared knob traditionally and still use a 'lift-and-seperate' swing (ala Bonds/Mike Cameron) with a flared knob and feel in no way timid about it and a traditional grip on a standard/mushroom knob also allows me to feel aggressive. Obviously choking up removes all of this from the equation and personally it makes me feel like I'm chopping down a tree.
But when wielding a baseball bat like Edgar does I feel more subconsciously connected to the barrel than I do with any other grip. When using a standard grip or choking up it's unavoidable to my conscious mind that the bat and I are separate entities albeit ones working together. When I hold a bat like Edgar I feel like it's an extension of my lead arm.
I could tell stories about my experience trying to relate to people on a fundamental level but I fear it would be entirely too self-aggrandizing. I'll just leave it here: 'self-effacing' is as generous as I think a person could be in trying to describe my tendencies when it comes to that particular endeavor ;-) I always wanted to be part of the pack but I've slowly come to realize that there are precious few places where that can genuinely be the case - SSI/D-O-V being one of them!
He's always had his pinky off and no one ever faults him with bloopy hits either.
Yeah maybe not 450 feet but his hits were always stroked too.
I remember toying with his stance/grip (didn't we all?!) and finding the exact same effect I described above. But like I said I couldn't get the max benefit with a standard knob for whatever reason. I've only got slightly-larger-than-average hands so I don't think it's that.
Anyway yeah looked at Michael Young (who during his prime was a mini-Edgar approach-wise with a nice level inside-out swing) and he also hung his pinky down below the knob.
Derek Jeter oddly enough had one of those donut-looking things on the knob of his bat so that he *couldn't* hang his pinky down - at least that's what I saw when scanning 100ish Google images of his batting stances. I remember Sammy Sosa having an even more exaggerated version than the one Jeter used but Jeter was the only 'inside-out' specialist I could think of off the top of my head that *didn't* hang his pinky below the knob.