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March 31, 2014

Going Yard

The Violence of Bryce Harper's Swing

by Ryan Parker


Bryce Harper is about to have his best season. His swing is beginning to take shape. The violence is still there, the head-turning bat speed hasn’t left him, but he now has a much more efficient movement pattern. To understand this process, let’s compare his swings from 2012, 2013, and this year’s spring action.

Before diving into the individual years, I’ll point out what makes Harper a special hitter from a mechanical perspective. He generates incredible bat speed through the most athletic means possible. Yes, his hands move quickly and yes, his lower half is incredibly strong and forceful. What links these components together is the remarkable use of his hips and an impressive sense of internal timing. Harper’s hips don’t have the flexibility some of his peers have, nor the obvious strength of a hitter like Javier Baez. What he does have is the ability to clear his front hip early and then time the rest of his swing to his hip action. Think of all the physical components (hands, hips, legs, etc…) of his swing as instruments. His orchestra of baseball-crushing fury is masterfully conducted by his sense of internal timing.

Here are the three swings side by side. 2012:

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Related Content:  Scouting,  Washington Nationals,  Mechanics

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<< Previous Article
32 Predictions Contest (03/31)
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