Mantle -vs- Ichiro
Two different types of hitters but the same swing
Most hitters prepare to swing the bat differently but the best all get to virtually the same position prior to swinging the bat and remain the same all the way through contact and extension. There is an efficient way to swing the bat and adjust to different speeds and locations of the pitch. With the naked-eye you would never think that Mickey Mantle and Ichiro would be this similar. more>>
With the naked-eye we really only see the slow parts of the swing: The preperation to swing and the finish or follow through of the swing. Almost all of the best hitters are virtually the same from toe touch through extension because this is the part of the swing where they have to be efficient. We really have plenty of time to prepare to swing but the 1/4 of a second that we have to get the bat from behind our head to the ball is when these have to be efficient. An efficient swing really means, the best way for our bodies to add all the forces in the swing together and adjust to the different speeds and locations of the pitch. Mickey Mantle didn't talk to Ichiro but they both found the most efficient way to swing the bat.