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A comparison of age level on baseball hitting kinematics.

  • Escamilla, Rafael F
  • Fleisig, Glenn S
  • DeRenne, Coop
  • Taylor, Marcus K
  • Moorman, Claude T 3rd
  • Imamura, Rodney
  • Barakatt, Edward
  • Andrews, James R
Published Article
Journal of applied biomechanics
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2009
PMID: 19827470


We propose that learning proper hitting kinematics should be encouraged at a young age during youth baseball because this may help reinforce proper hitting kinematics as a player progresses to higher levels of baseball in their adult years. To enhance our understanding between youth and adult baseball hitting, kinematic and temporal analyses of baseball hitting were evaluated with a high-speed motion analysis system between 12 skilled youth and 12 skilled adult baseball players. There were only a small number of temporal differences between youth and adult hitters, with adult hitters taking significantly greater time than youth hitters during the stride phase and during the swing. Compared with youth hitters, adult hitters a) had significantly greater (p < .01) lead knee flexion when the hands started to move forward; b) flexed the lead knee over a greater range of motion during the transition phase (31 degrees versus 13 degrees); c) extended the lead knee over a greater range of motion during the bat acceleration phase (59 degrees versus 32 degrees); d) maintained a more open pelvis position at lead foot off ground; and e) maintained a more open upper torso position when the hands started to move forward and a more closed upper torso position at bat-ball contact. Moreover, adult hitters had greater peak upper torso angular velocity (857 degrees/s versus 717 degrees/s), peak left elbow extension angular velocity (752 degrees/s versus 598 degrees/s), peak left knee extension angular velocity (386 degrees/s versus 303 degrees/s), and bat linear velocity at bat-ball contact (30 m/s versus 25 m/s). The numerous differences in kinematic and temporal parameters between youth and adult hitters suggest that hitting mechanics are different between these two groups.

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