A look at how Jose Bautista generates the absurd amount of power in his swing
We have all come to know the huricane like swing of
Jose Bautista’s swing is as violent as it is beautiful. The ridiculous bat speed he generates through the zone is a combination of great hands and knowing how to throw his weight around. Jose is one of the many home run hitters that use a high leg kick to get things going in their swing. This works as a timing mechanism and a way to load up his body weight on his back leg. All baseball hitters have a way of loading their weight up prior to swinging. This load phase of a swing allows the players driving momentum to burst forward with their hands when they take their step. So not only is the speed of the players hands hitting the ball the stored momentum is being added to the ball.
Jose maximizes the amount of momentum by bringing his front leg up to a near 90 degree angle. Similar to a pitcher throwing a baseball this puts all the weight on his back leg which bursts forward when he takes his drive step. This leg kick also allows Jose to wait on off speed pitches because he has great balance. With the power being held back until the opportune moment this gives Jose the ability to explode into the ball quickly.
It has also helped him increase the number of good pitches he swings at. Having all that momentum stored up allows him to be ready to lay off a bad pitch. This timing mechanism in combination with Jose’s good eyes has allowed him to be one of the highest walked players in the past decade. He does chase some pitches but he is increasing the amount of good pitches to swing at because of this.
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Jose has been playing well so far this season but we are yet to see him go on one of his utterly dominant streaks. This past weekend might be the start. Prior to this weekend Bautista’s strike out rates were on an up tick from previous years but his walk rate is still with the league leaders. May is almost at its close so when comparing Jose’s first 2 months of this season to last season you might see these slight differences. With all that being said he has still be productive despite the low batting average. Strike outs are nearly identical to last season and he still is getting on base as show in the splits below.
2015 Month Spilts
2016 Month splits
Once Jose picks that good pitch it’s bye bye baseball when all of this is clicking properly. This past weekend we saw how it can be when this system is working for him. The Twins pitchers were also forced to pitch to him with Josh Donaldson waiting on deck behind him. Jose crushed the Twins and could be in store for a outburst soon. Pitchers are going to have to try and throw off his timing to get him out. As we discussed above this is not an easy task because Bautista has the balance to load up and wait on slower pitches. Jose might be on the cusp of going nuts at the plate as he continues to trend upward.