I recently finished fellow hitting coach Joey Myers book "The Catapult Loading System." The book took a very science based approach to generating power using certain bio mechanics of the body. I won't into the nuts and bolts of what he discussed but needless to say it was refreshing to see a science based approach as opposed to the hitting coaches who still believe in fake science such as swinging down to create backspin and drive the ball, etc.
After reading the book, I wanted to test one of the mechanical traits that he talks about. This was the concept of showing the numbers to the pitcher at foot plant. In addition to that, when in this position, having the front shoulder lower than the back shoulder. Basically, this helps to load certain components of the body that should help create more power. The best example of this is done by Josh Donaldson.
For the experiment, I took 50 swings normally off of a tee. I then took 50 swings trying to show the numbers and lower my front shoulder at the launch position. All swings were taken with a 34 inch wood bat. Here are the results:
50 Normal swings: Average 74.0 High 75.8
50 "Show Numbers swings": Average 77.8 High 81.7
Results: Average 3.8 mph harder with showing the numbers
What does this mean?
One of the biggest indicators of hitting success is ball exit speed. Why? 2 reasons: First, the faster the ball comes off of the bat, the harder it is to field. Second, the faster the ball comes off, the further the ball will go (all other things, launch angle, etc. being equal).
The general consensus is that every MPH that is added to ball exit speed adds about 4-5 feet of distance to the hit. This means that with this simple change, I was able to add between 15 and 19 feet of distance.
Any mechanical change that can add about 4 mph of ball exit speed is incredible. Based on the science of why this works, it makes perfect sense to try and include this in the swing. The only caveat would be to not overdo this concept and turn too much. Like most mechanics, somewhere in the middle is the right place to be.