Even though the Reds weren't in the Playoffs, it turned out to be some great baseball. For me, the best part was being able to watch all of the slow motion video of some truly great hitters. The video that we now have is incredible and can teach us a lot about the way good hitters swing the bat.
Today I want to talk about one of the cooler things about the super high speed images captures: The way that a hitter's upper body moves in order to generate power. This can be seen in the Jersey at different points in the swing. We can see the way that a hitter loads and unloads the upper body based on the wrinkles in their jersey.
Take a look at the clip below.
What can we tell? Lets start with the launch position (The position just before his upper body starts to rotate). The jersey is wrinkled from his front hip to his back shoulder. This shows that this line of connective tissue is being pre-stretched just before unloading. This is a huge component of power generation. I did an experiment and wrote an article on this here
As Kyle Schwarber begins to rotate, those wrinkles fade and new ones appear. These new wrinkles show up on his back side oblique (side) muscles. This shows that the tension and energy is being released from the initial connective tissue and he is side bending in order to drop his body to get the bat on plane with the pitch.
These 2 signs of power development seen in the jersey (pre-loading the connective tissue between the front hip and back shoulder and side bending during rotation) are seen in very high level hitters. Most young hitters will lack both tell tale jersey signs. Many young hitters will release the tension in their upper body too soon. This is because they are very anxious to get the swing started by the arms and hands instead of the bigger stronger muscles of the lower body and core. Side bending on the back side is also usually lacking too because most younger hitters are taught to avoid dropping the back shoulder. Without dropping the back shoulder, it is almost impossible to get the same bat path that is created with this side bending.