MLB Film Room
Differences in demands
ThrowingHittingTimeUnlimited in pitching. ~1.1-1.7 seconds from when the pitcher first moves (out of stretch) Less than 0.4 seconds for 90 mph pitch to reach home after release Less than 0.2 seconds to make a decision Less than 0.2 seconds to complete the swing SpaceUnlimited in pitching.The constraint of batter’s box, though not typically a limiting factor. The limiting factor is the lack of room (side effect of time constraint) to create bat speed (tangential velocity of the barrel at impact).Open vs. Closed LoopClosed loop. Meaning: The pitcher controls the start and stops of the movement without interruption or outside factors to alter course.Open loop. The swing's start, stop, and general nature is based entirely on the pitcher. The reaction component is perhaps the most differentiating. Implement5 oz projectile. Max movement velocity occurs at ball release in front of the body. ~30-32oz bat, not released. The Max speed of the barrel is created close to the body compared to the throw. Less time and space to produce output. Decision?The pitcher makes all of their decisions before the initiation of the movement. (Rare exceptions)Every swing requires decisions: Pitch type, speed, location, swing/no swing, etc. AdjustabilityNo external adjustability is required.Essential. If the hitter starts his swing simultaneously (relative to the pitcher's release) across all pitch types, it will be impossible to remain on time for all pitches. By the time the fastball arrives at the plate, the other offspeed pitches, like the curveball and changeup, will still be too far away to make contact, no matter how much length you have in your swing. Even if the hitter guesses correctly on pitch type and location, there will still be downstream imperfections the hitter will have to adjust to:
Errors in perception (Ex. thinking a pitch is lower and slower than it is)
Variations in pitch performance (Ex: a particular pitch having less velo but more cut than the rest of his reps)
SummaryThe pitch is thrown via a long, drawn-out delivery, resulting in idealized output under complete control.Hitting is a messy reaction and decision to others’ deception. Max force in less time without compromising the ability to adjust and make contact.
Differences in sequencing
Hip then shoulder rotation (throw) vs. hip and shoulder rotation (swing)?