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Bat Swing Speed and Batted Ball Velocity

By: X Bats

Bat Swing Speed Batted Ball Velocity

20.5mph (9.2m/s)

62.0mph (27.7m/s)

27.3mph (12.1m/s)

68.8mph (30.7m/s)

34.3mph (15.3m/s)

76.2mph (34.0m/s)

41.0mph (18.3m/s)

83.8mph (37.4m/s)

47.9mph (21.4m/s)

91.4mph (40.8m/s)

A similar experiment (from the same 1980 high-school textbook Physics of Sports developed by Florida State University[6]) changed the bat swing speed while the the ball mass, pitch speed, and bat mass (30oz) were all kept constant. The data shows that a faster bat swing produces a faster batted ball speed. Doubling the swing speed of the bat results in an increase of almost 22mph. So, it would seem that swinging the same bat faster is more beneficial than swinging a heavier bat at a the same speed. Ideally, the best result would be to swing a heavier bat faster. But, as I already stated, it is harder to swing a heavier bat with the same speed, let alone swing a heavier bat faster.

So, it looks like we have two different effects (increasing bat weight and increasing bat swing speed) which both result in faster batted ball speeds. However, it does not seem possible to get both effects at the same time. In fact, increasing bat weight might decrease bat swing speed. So, we need to see how these two parameters are related before we can answer the question "what is the final batted ball speed?"



  • Mike

    Thank you for providing this information. It is a fascinating subject and a lot of players & fans debate the issue of bat weight and swing speed.
    It should be noted that Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Ted Williams used heavier bats than is common today.
    Ruth: 35" to 36" length, 37oz to 54oz weight
    DiMaggio: 42oz bat weight
    Williams: 33oz bat weight
    Mantle: 35" length, 33oz to 37oz weight

    However, back then they did not face pitchers throwing in the high 90's and 100 mph range. Today, they would also need to use lighter bats in order to hit .300 or more

    October 03 2015 08:51 PM |