A properly gripped baseball bat offers more advantages than the stance used when launching the bat. But there are many so-called ways of gripping the bat that may not give you the swing you want. Proper gripping of a baseball bat is about being in a strong palm up and palm down position at contact, which will allow you to launch the bat perfectly.
This is why it's important to learn how to grip a baseball bat. We discuss the way of holding a baseball bat for youth hitters and power hitters. You will find out the fundamental rules of holding baseball bats after reading this article, and you can decide what will work for you.
Methods of Gripping a Baseball Bat
There are two methods for gripping a baseball bat. These are,
- Knocking Knuckle Method
- Box Gripping Method
However, using those methods varies with finger length, hand strength, wrist flexibility, etc.
Knocking Knuckle Methods
Knocking knuckles is mainly taught to kids, youth batters, and in school leagues. It's an easy technique to learn and remember. Practice and experience will help every batter find their gripping style. Knocking knuckles can reduce rolling over at the contact point.
However, it is the most common way to hold a baseball bat. To do that, you need to follow the steps given below.
Place your bottom hand on the handle of the bat. Keep the end of the handle towards the ground and your front foot since this creates a little bit of angle that you will gain extra force while launching.
Next, separate your index finger from the rest of your fingers on your bottom hand, and wrap the bat around your index finger. Make sure the second knuckle of the bottom hand is lined up. The knuckle of the finger should be pointed up of the barrel.
Traditionally, baseball players wrapped their hands around their bats. Wrapping the index finger and the other three fingers around the bat is the right way to hold it.
Let the bat rest on your finger and hold it lightly and comfortably. That's the main trick where you gain an advantage. But, of course, in motion, your holding will change anyway, and your bat speed will increase.
Keep the bat away from your palms. Since the palm is not stiff enough, it will feel like a drag if you hold the bat with it. The bat may sink, and hitting the ball may be wrong by holding it that way. That's the wrong way to grip.
Hold the bat with your top hand now. Align the second knuckles of the finger between the bottom hand knuckles. That's how you can hold a baseball bat by door-knocking knuckle. Your top hand has to be relaxed when holding the bat. Hold the bat lightly as your grip will get tight as you launch the bat and contact the ball.
It's the door-knocking knuckle grip on a baseball bat. Kids and youth can learn the basic rules of holding baseball bats by this. Then, if they are comfortable with it, let them use it; if not, find another method.
Paul Goldschmidt uses the knocking knuckle method to hold the bat and he gets a lot more home runs. Having a balanced, loose finger and a quick hand explosion to hit the ball makes for a great hit.
see the hitting mechanics of Paul Goldschmidt
If You Do not Grip the Bat with Non-Knocking Knuckles, What will Happen?
If any batter aligns with a non-knocking knuckle, a pitcher can throw on the inside pitch. So, the batter cannot get around it. However, aligning knuckles has nothing to do with bat speed. But it leaves the elbow sticking out and hinders the player's flexibility to hit the inside pitch.
Box Gripping Method
In general, box grip is a natural grip. You don't follow any rules with this method because it comes naturally. In this method, hold the bat between the end of the palm and the start of the second knuckle. that's how you can keep control of the bat. Also, relax your hands and fingers.
Box grips are preferred mainly by power hitters. However, some baseball coaches confessed that they like box gripping for big hitters over knocking knuckles.
But if you are just start baseball coaching, try whatever is comfortable and athletic. Anything else is cookie-cut and pointless. You'll get to know what works for you when you test out what you like.
Fungo bats are lightweight and designed specifically for coaches, so they can be held however they like. This article provides more information about fungo bats.
Is It Important to Grip the Bat Tightly?
Never grip the bat tightly initially. You have to hold the bat with your finger so comfortably and loosely. However, not so loose that the bat might fall from your hand.
Relax your arm and get ready to swing. The bat will automatically tighten its grip when the ball makes contact with it and when the bat is in launch mode.
Launch Angle in Baseball
Launch angle is the initial angle of the ball that takes the path after hitting by a bat. So, if the hit straight to the infielder parallel to the ground, the launch angle will be Zero. But, if it's a ground ball, then it is -30 degrees, and a fly ball is above 30 degrees.
Fly ball has a greater chance of home runs than ground ball and line drive. That's why players are taught to hit in the air. Thirty degrees is the optimal launch angle in baseball.
Benefits of Gripping A Baseball Bat Properly
What do you gain from maintaining all of these things? So the answer is that's how you're going to achieve the maximum return on the effort you invest.
Gripping a baseball bat properly will give you better control of the bat and better speed while swinging. Even though there are also non-standard ways that work, but that's about 1 in 100.
Get a better label for the bat and follow the rules; you will get the maximum results by doing this. For example, a composite or aluminum bat will allow you to have great speed. However, MLB doesn't allow aluminum or metal bats. To find out more, visit this article about the reasons why MLB discourages aluminum bats. However, college and high school leaguers can use this bat.
If you use an aluminum bat, rotate the bat a notch to keep it going for a long time.
That's how you hold a baseball bat. Almost every famous baseball player uses this technique to maximize their productivity. Additionally, it is a proven method for holding a baseball bat for all types of baseball players. Give it a shot, and you'll see the difference.