ChopTalk made and interesting observation recently with respect to “Lining Your Knuckles” – within the Hitting section of this web site.
His question and observation had to do with the way coaches demonstrate holding the bat with your knuckles in line. From a pitcher’s standpoint, we can take this observation one step further. I know #33 Jason Varitekand his teammates on the Boston Red Sox pitching staff do. In fact, the next time your watching Varitek, notice his eyes focusing on the batter, just before – and during, the batter’s turn in the box. First Varitek looks at the hand’s posture gripping the bat, then Varitek will look down at where the feet are placed, then he takes a …full view of the overall body posture at bat.
You too can learn from this by checking yourself. First grip the bat with your regular grip and slowly swing the bat off your shoulders. (It helps if you’re in front of a mirror.) Now look at the angle that your arms and hands produce from the heel of the bat out to the trademark. Do you see an angle ( space) of say … five(5) to …oh twenty(20) degrees? Now align the flats of your knuckles, so the palms are directly under each other, and slowly swing again. Notice how your top hand turns over slightly – and there’s no hole…or angle(space) from the heel of the bat to the trademark!
If you practice with enough grips and notice the weakness of each,(holes in the swipe path) you can take advantage of these weaknesses.
Common pitches are inside (jamming) just under the hands and sinkers that take advantage of the pulling up action caused by hand grips that cut short the full swing.
However, I should note that you must have a catcher LOOK for these weaknesses. It’s very, very difficult for you – from sixty feet away, to pick these grips up.