When I observe hitters coming to me for the first time, the thing that stands out the most is the lack of ability to consistently square up the barrel of the bat with the baseball. Listen, when it comes to hitting, the most important thing is the barrel and the ability to consistently square up the barrel with the baseball. The most important thing!

When you watch big league hitters take batting practice, the thing you observe the most is the sound of the ball and bat collision, and the consistency. The sound that you are hearing is the quality of the ball compression, which occurs as the barrel is striking the baseball.

What do we see with amateur hitters? Slicing. They are slicing way too often. The ball is riding up the barrel before it is exiting. Yes, it’s a very small bit, but enough to reduce the compression. Most amateur hitters fall into the pulling or pushing pattern, which refers to using the arms to bring the barrel through the zone.

If we take the arms out of the swing, and focus on turning the barrel and pivoting the barrel around the fix point (the hands),  then you will see consistency in your ability to square and compress the baseball.  The hands are the pivot point, and the hands are fixed if the arms have been removed.  The torso turning will move the hands, which is fine, but if the arms move the hands, you no longer have a fixed point. The pivot point is fixed through launch.

Depending on the pitch and adjustments that need to be made, the hands are fixed and the bat pivots around it rearward. The bat is launched rearward into an arc away from the ball while pivoting around the hands. When fully launched, the bat goes in autopilot, meaning no more force is being applied as the barrel will reach its highest speed instantly. As this is happening, the hitter reads the pitch and makes a decision as to where to take the speeding barrel. The arms will let out, pull in, raise, lower or hold, so you can launch into ball flight for the outside pitch.  Many different things are happening simultaneously and subconsciously. Adjustments that are made at launch do not interfere with the pivot barrel. Once hitters figure this out, that is the beauty of this, the barrel is already speeding and the hitter directs it to the baseball.

This improves the ability to square up the ball, which allows maximum ball compression.

When you push or pull the barrel instead of turning the barrel, your delivery mechanics are the same, therefore you can’t adjust without degrading the speed of the barrel.