Baseball Magazine

Is It Ok to Take the Top Hand off the Bat After the Swing?

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard

The other day a high school player asked me, “Is it ok to take the top hand off the bat after the swing?”  My answer was YES.  In fact, virtually every time a player asks that kind of question, my answer will be YES.  As I’ve said before, as soon as you say NO to that type of question, the player will turn on the TV and see a major leaguer consistently and successfully do the very thing you said shouldn’t be done.

When it comes to taking the top hand off the bat on the swing like this …

Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

it really isn’t a matter of “if” a batter does it.  The issue is really a matter of “when” the batter does it.  The problem that hitters have when letting go of the top hand is that many let go too soon and do not properly and aggressively extend through the ball before letting go of the bat.  To show what I mean, here is another photo of Miguel Cabrera.


In this photo, Cabrera has aggressively extended through the ball and still has yet to let go of the bat with his right hand (top hand).  Players who have trouble with letting go with their top hand usually do it before they get to this point.

Remember, after the ball and bat make contact and the ball leaves, there is nothing else a hitter can do to impact the ball.  It’s already gone.  That’s why I personally do not care too much about how a batter finishes his swing.  Batters can hold onto the bat with two hands, they can let go with their top hand, they can finish with their hands high, and they can finish them fairly low.  As long as they gets through the ball well with both hands on the bat (2nd photo), it doesn’t matter what they do after that.

Note:  With players who are just beginning to play (tee-ball, coach pitch, etc.) I would not recommend a player take his top hand off the bat.  Their lack of strength makes it more likely the bat will fly out of their hands if they do.

Tomorrow’s post:  Little kids SHOULD imitate major leaguers

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