When you watch professional baseball players on the field, you’re bound to see dozens of different Baseball batting stances. While some players are able to create their own stance to maximize power, others have better luck when they imitate one of the pros.
Whichever you choose to do during the game, the success of your baseball hit all starts with your batting stance. Your batting stance is the first among 3 stages of hitting. When you are in your stance, you move into your load position, and that is when you decide whether or not to swing the bat.
Concentration plays a big part in a player’s batting stance. Every player at bat needs to focus on the game and make sure they are in a balanced and comfortable position because they have to load their weight onto their back foot and shift it forward as they swing.
Although you will see plenty of different batting stances through the years as you watch baseball games, the stances can be categorized into 3 different styles of batting stances:
Each batting stance has it’s shares of pros and cons, but this ultimately depends on the character. Before getting to some of the greatest batting stances of all time for maximizing power, let’s take a look at the differences between these three batting stances.
The 3 Styles Of Baseball Batting Stances
Baseball players looking to maximize the power of their hits on the field need to find out which batting stance is right for them. Between these 3 styles, you should find one in which you can swing the bat comfortably while delivering a strong hit.
For an open batting stance, the player will be in the batting box with their front foot further from the home plate than the back foot, allowing them to be open to the pitcher. This stance is better for players who may have difficulties seeing the ball.
This stance allows the player to turn their head a little more towards the pitcher, so they have a better view of the ball.
If a player has a tendency to step away from the plate, this stance is a good choice because the front foot will step towards the plate. Many players see this issue arise when a right-handed pitcher and right-handed batter go up against each other. (The same issue occurs with left-handed pitchers and left-handed batters as well.)
Closed Batting Stance
This batting stance was a more popular choice in the ’80s and ’90s than it is for today’s games. The main point of this stance was to look for another way that the ball could go and hit it that way. The player’s upper body is already closed off, so the bat has to go a little further to get around their body.
Players that choose this stance do so because they have a little more difficulty handling the pitch and sending the ball another way. This stance requires the batter to stand with their front foot closer to the plate than their back foot, allowing them to be closed to the pitcher.
A closed batting stance makes it a little more difficult for the batter to see the ball since their back is slightly turned to the pitcher.
Square Batting Stance
By far, the most popular choice for batting stance is the square batting stances. Most coaches will recommend that beginners start off with this stance. Some players will even argue that it is the best stance anyone could use.
A square stance is when the batter’s feet are parallel with the pitcher’s and the edge of the batter’s box. If a player can learn how to bat with this stance, then it will be easier to improve their stride and swing.
In this stance, the player’s body is already in line to take charge of that ball! They should have no difficulty seeing the ball, so their stride can be directed straight towards the pitcher.
10 Great Baseball Batting Stances
Each batting stance has it’s a fair share of advantages and disadvantages. These all depend on the batter and the type of swing they have. When choosing a batting stance, take note of any difficulties you may have at the plate to help you improve your swing.
Now that we know the 3 main styles of Baseball batting stances, let’s take a look at some of the greatest stances of all time for getting the most power from your hit. Each stance has been tried and true to some of the most famous baseball players.
If you are looking to improve your swing on the field, it is always a good idea to watch how the professional players are hitting the ball. They each have their own technique that can be copied for getting the most power to their swing.
1: The First Great Stance
It wasn’t until the late 1890s when baseball players started to create their own unique batting stances. In the early ages of baseball players, all the batters would hit the ball in the same fashion. Back then, a batter was able to call for a pitcher to throw the ball either high or low.
Although the rules of the game have changed slightly since then, this batting stance is still excellent for maximizing power. It is a relatively simple square stance. The batter stands erect with their eyes focused on the pitcher, and their bat held out near where they would ideally like the ball to be pitched.
This batting stance has proven to be effective throughout the history of baseball. Batters rarely miss and are able to show off some of their strongest hits.
2: Hit ‘Em Up Babe Style
When thinking of famous baseball players throughout history, it’s almost a give-in that Babe Ruth comes to mind. The man is so legendary that he even has a candy bar named after him. It’s only fair to say that his batting stance is one of the best there is.
Fun fact: Ty Cobb also used this stand to get the most power to his hits. During his 24 years of playing professionally, he never switched up his stance. If you haven’t heard of Ty Cobb, he is famous for the 12 batting titles he won using this stance.
Now that we have your attention, here is what you need to know. The method of this stance is feet together and hands apart. There are a few things you need to do in this stance to maximize the power in your hit, so start off with your hands below your waist tilting the bat at a 45-degree angle towards the catcher.
Make sure you are holding the bat with your hands 1 to 3 inches apart from each other. Your feet should be no more than a foot apart from one another; keep them as close as comfortably possible. To really get a good hit, you should crouch as though you were about to reach something from the other side of a table, but make sure you don’t bend your knees while doing so.
3: The Good Old Leg Kick
If you really want to maximize the power of your hit, then you need to think about weight shifting. This has been extremely helpful for professional baseball players who aren’t as tall or strong as some of the other players on the team. They are professionals, after all, so they have a batting stance that is memorable enough to get them to the big leagues.
Mel Ott was the most famous baseball player to make the Leg Kick a household batting stance. Ott would use a high leg kick during his hit to shift his weight and produce more power.
As the pitcher gets ready to throw the ball, the batter should then lift their leg above the ground by roughly 8 to 12 inches. When they swing towards the ball, their foot will come back to the ground. As each batter who uses this stance gets more comfortable with it, they are able to create their own unique style of leg kick to generate the most power.
Darryl Strawberry is another notable player who credits the leg kick to his famous swing, that he used to hit well over 300 home runs.
4: The Peek-A-Boo Stance
When Stan Musial set foot on the field to play for the Cardinals in 1941, he had no idea that he was about to make history with his game-changing batting stance. Nearly 80 years later, and this stance is still helping players hit with incredible force.
The Peek-A-Boo stance requires players to stand with their feet close together. They should tuck themselves into a closed configuration with their front hip tucked in and the front of their shoulders closed to the pitcher.
Once they are in this stance, the player should tuck their neck and head behind their lead shoulder. This gives off the impression that they are playing peek-a-boo with the pitcher, hence the name.
5: Tiny Strikes For The Walk!
One thing that often got ignored throughout the history of baseball is bases on balls. Everyone would just assume that the pitcher has a lousy throw and didn’t give the matter much thought. A walk for the batter would always be given under these circumstances.
Soon enough, a few smart players began to realize that tiny strikes can get a player more walks. However, you wouldn’t think of tiny strikes being able to add more power to a batting stance. This may not be the right stance for every player on your team, but it has been beneficial for shorter players.
A shorter player naturally has a smaller strike zone; there’s nothing they can do to change that. By adding a crouching motion to their batting stance, the player is then able to put more force into sending the ball exactly where they want for a tiny strike.
6: Pete Rose’s Great Shrink
When Pete Rose first started to play baseball professionally, he came to bat with standing perfectly straight with the bat in front of his chest, ready to send the balls flying up into space. After a time, his stance changed, and it only got better.
Pete began to hunch over in a C position when he got into the batter’s box, with his head peering over his front shoulder. This position may sound odd, but when Pete swang his bat, he uncoiled, giving off a tremendous amount of power. He was then able to go zooming to the baseline.
7: Charlie Lau’s Famous Hit
This was the hit so powerful a book was written about it. After perfecting his legendary batting stance, Charlie Lau went on to write a book called “The Art Of Hitting .300”. At first, baseball fans were skeptical when they saw Charlie at bat, but it didn’t take him long to prove that his stance will go down as one of the best.
For Charlie Lau’s stance, players need to stand with their feet far apart from each other. The bat should be off their back shoulder and almost perpendicular to the ground. This will help them get the most power to their hit in this stance.
8: The Power Of The Fiddler
This stance is called The Fiddler because it was made famous by Carl Yastrzemski, nicknamed as Yaz. Yaz was famous for fiddling with his batting stance and seemed to don a new one every spring. In 1967 he finally perfected a move and won the Triple Crown.
Yaz found out that no matter which stance he tried out, he would get more power to his hit by tucking his jaw into his leading front shoulder. If a player is having difficulty finding the right batting stance to get the best hit, try incorporating The Fiddler into their stances to get more power.
9: The Waiting For Dinner Stance
This stance looks sort of funny but has helped many professional players hit plenty of home runs. When a player is in this position, it looks like they are sitting at a table waiting for their dinner.
When the player is at bat, they crouch down very low, which gives off the impression they are sitting down. This stance is for more experienced players, as it takes a bit more focus to stay in balance.
10: The Weird Stuff Works Too
When John Wockenfuss first appeared in the batter’s box, sports fans thought he has a weird style to his stance. It didn’t take long before they saw how effective his moves were for getting a powerful hit.
Wockenfuss is a right-handed batter, so he would start by placing his left foot directly in front of his right, as though he were on a tight-rope. He pulled his upper body back closely and then held the bat in front of his chest.
The part that seemed bizarre, but was effective, was that Wockenfuss had his fingers stretched out and wiggling as though he was playing the flute.