DeRenne Delves Into Bat Control, Accuracy

Professor/University of Hawaii

HONOLULU, Hawaii — In 1979, I asked two questions that directed my baseball research agenda:  How do you pitch and throw the baseball faster; and how to do the best hitters hit and increase their bat velocities?  

These two questions guided me to the scientific areas of biomechanics, exercise science and visual training. 

My final hitting book, The Scientific Approach to Hitting: Research Explores the Most Difficult Skill in Sport, provides the player and coach with valuable evidence on how to become a better hitter. 

This final article is from this second hitting book.

The book can be obtained from University Readers,   

Bat Control & Accuracy
What is bat control? Can we measure it? Can we increase bat control for better hitting performances? Does bat control relate to accuracy? These questions are very important to all hitters and hitting coaches.

The following published research study gives us some tangible answers.

This study investigated the relationship among hitting components and bat control during the normal and choke-up grip swings.

Fourteen intercollegiate and professional baseball players were randomly assigned into five hitting groups.

Within each group, the following four hitting components were computed to determine the relationship between bat control in two grip conditions (normal; choke-up): (1) Swing time (bat quickness), (2) stride time, (3) bat velocity and (4) bat-ball contact accuracy. 

Results indicated significant differences (p =0.01) between choke-up and normal grips in swing time, stride time and bat velocity. 

Players using the choke-up grip swing had significant less swing time and stride time than the normal grip swing.

Results also indicated significant greater bat velocities (p = 0.01) with normal grip swings than the choke-up grip swings.

In addition, further results indicated no significant differences (p = .90) between choke-up and normal grips in bat-ball accuracy.

These findings suggest that the choke-up grip facilitates faster swing time and stride time without compromising bat velocity or contact accuracy.

To read the entire article, order the Oct. 4, 2013 issue of Collegiate Baseball by CLICKING HERE.