How do you create backspin while hitting the baseball?
by Jason Green
Ryan Braun leading with the hips creating Bat "Lag"
Are you suppose to create back spin? Why do you want to create backspin? What benefits come from creating backspin?
Swing Smarter Response:
Great question Mr. Jason Green, and one my usual response was "Take the knob of the bat down to the incoming baseball, then push the barrel through the Impact point."
I now know, this is hogwash...you can create backspin that way, but not very consistently.
Backspin is created with a slight upper cut to the baseball's downward direction from the mound, and hitting the middle-to-lower half of the ball.
Think of the barrel path as being like a Nike Swoosh sign. We want the bat path to be nice and long to the ball (bat lag - see pic above of Ryan Braun) staying on plane thereby increasing our chance of nice hard consistent contact. I often describe this swing is one-swing-fits-all-pitches.
Want to hit an outside pitch with it? Just let the ball get deeper and hit it off the back hip. You want to pull the ball? Hit the ball a little more out front (in-line with the front hip, slightly outside the front foot).
The difference between a Down & Through versus a Nike Swoosh sign swing is with the D&T method, a hitter is accelerating to the baseball during impact...Nike Swoosh, you've already accelerated at Impact. A hitter is suppose to be accelerating during the Cushion and Slot Positions preceding contact.
You can read the Swing Smarter article below, which talks about the physics of hitting. There have been a lot of Science and Mathematical influence in baseball over the past 20 years thanks to fanatical baseball fans who just happen to be brilliant scientists :)
Physics says when we put backspin on a batted baseball, a Magnus Force takes over, which can't be seen by the naked eye, pushing from underneath the baseball elevating it. Backspin allows the baseball to work for the hitter and NOT the other way around.
I hope this helps J :)