Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-09-2019, 06:05 PM
SanDiegoTim is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,587

Batting Stance Question

My understanding is your back elbow should be parallel to the ground. If you look at a picture of Ernie Banks, for instance, this is exactly his stance. I play softball (senior leagues) several times a week. I generally hit the ball hard, usually line drives. I'm a good lead off hitter. My back elbow is probably 15 degrees down. If I were to adjust my elbow up to "parallel " would I be likely to hit the ball any differently?
Old 06-09-2019, 06:34 PM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is offline
Corellian Nerfherder
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 15,137
Disclaimer: I am not a hitting coach, by any stretch of the imagination.

Decades ago, I bought the book "The Art of Hitting .300," by hitting coach Charley Lau (who gained fame for helping to develop George Brett as a hitter).

In the book, Lau had a lot of photographs of various hitters whose approaches he admired, and he pointed out that there was a huge diversity of batting stances -- that is, how they stood as the pitch was thrown, how they held the bat as they waited for the pitch, etc. But, Lau noted that, once they began their swing, and moved the bat into the "launching position," they were all remarkably similar.

It seems to me that Lau would have said, "I don't care so much where your elbow is when you're waiting for the pitch -- it's where everything is when you're swinging that's important."

Last edited by kenobi 65; 06-09-2019 at 06:37 PM.
Old 06-09-2019, 07:25 PM
penultima thule is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 3,011
It used to be standard practice to rest the bat on your right toe (if right handed) when in your stance but modern batsmen tend to lift the bat off the ground totally when preparing to take strike. The stance was first brought to prominence by an English captain who couldn’t bat for shit.
Don Bradman used to rest the toe of his bat between his feet and he batted .996
Seems how you prepare is of no material importance provided you are in correct position once you begin to swing.

If nothing else it shows Charlie Lau knew his onions.
Old 06-10-2019, 07:43 AM
jonesj2205 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 889
Stance doesn't really matter as long as you can get your swing to where it needs to be when it needs to be there.
And if you're hitting hard line drives that's a pretty good sign.
One caution, there is a difference between baseball and softball swings, primarily because baseballs are going down and softballs are going up (without spin). It does make a difference in swing angle, but it sounds like you've got that covered.
Old 06-10-2019, 10:44 AM
Barkis is Willin' is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 6,443
Ah, the ol' elbow up or down debate. It's not much of a debate anymore, a huge majority of MLB guys start with their elbow up, as the OP describes.

My best friend is a D1 college baseball coach and we have many philosophical discussions on baseball, including this very topic. I coach at a much lower level (little league) but I said it drives me crazy when parents only advice to their kid is to "get your elbow up." It doesn't even really matter. For some kids, elbow up in the stance does more harm than good because their just going to drop it down again and uppercut. My friend says, "but it's the right way if they want to hit with power."

He said, "show me one MLB hitter who has his elbow down." This guy is a Cubs fan so I took great delight in the fact that my example was none other than Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo is quite an anomaly as a power hitter who does this. Typically, I think of guys who slap line drives like Rod Carew or Wade Boggs when I think of elbow down guys.

Bottom line, do what works for you.
Old 06-10-2019, 10:54 AM
TriPolar is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 40,372
'Do what works for you' applies to batters who have something that works. I don't know that elbow up makes a superior stance but a lot of batting coaches have this notion. If it's not something that works well in improving what works for a batter then I think that would be noticed.


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:33 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017