Baseball Bat Grip and Angle

Bat grip is what connects the baseball player to the bat and will effect how it moves through the strike zone.

Benefits of a proper bat grip

  1. Your bat speed will be quicker.  By getting more whip.
  2. Your whole body will be more relaxed.
  3. Your bat will be in a stronger position at contact.
    • With the speed of the ball, if you don’t have a strong grip, the bat will actually slow down or bounce off the ball at contact.  This obviously results in weaker contact.
    • You should be able to drive through the baseball.
  4. Your hands will be able to make adjustments to be in the best possible position if you are fooled on a pitch.

Proper mechanics for bat grip
how to grip a baseball bat

Proper bat grip

1.  Place the handle in your bottom hand and place its end on the ground in front of your front foot.

This little move will set a slight angle of your bat, to help get you a little extra whip with your wrist.

2.  The index finger from your bottom hand should be bent around the baseball bat but separate from the other 3 bottom fingers that are wrapped around the handle.  Your knuckle should be pointing up the barrel.

3.  Hold it in your fingers, trying to keep it out of the palm of your hand as much as possible.

4.  Take the top hand and grab it the same way, with the handle in your fingers.

The second knuckles down your fingers should be pretty much lined up.

5.  Keep the it as light as possible in your fingers.  As the swing progresses your grip will automatically tighten up until contact where the bat grip is the strongest.  This all happens automatically.

  • Just focus about gripping lightly while you are about to start your swing.
  • Your upper body will usually be as relaxed as your grip, and remember that the more relaxed you are before an explosive movement, the more explosive it will be.

How to be in the strongest grip position possible

  • With both hands gripped on the handle, go to where contact would be. 
  • Take a look at your hands. 
  • The strongest position is when your bottom hand palm is facing down, and your top hand palm is facing up. 
  • If you open up your hands they should both be parallel to the ground.
  • As you make contact, your grip will naturally get tighter and your top hand thumb will not allow the bat to get knocked backwards.

Bat angle

When you have completed the separation phase of your swing and your hands are cocked back and ready to fire forward, the angle of your bat can determine who you are as a hitter.

Bat Angle 1 – Straight up and down (perpendicular to the ground)

  • The back part of your swing will take a little longer to get to the baseball.
  • Naturally, you will have a little loop in your swing
  • There can be more power generated from this position because with the extra length in the back part of your swing, you are creating a longer space to build your bat speed.

Bat Angle 2 – Lying flat (parallel to the ground)

  • The back part of your swing will be shorter to the ball.
  • You will have a more direct path to the ball
  • You will not generate as much power because your bat is traveling a shorter distance.

Option 3 – A combination of the two

  • Most people use an angle that is somewhere in between straight up, and lying flat.
  • This depends on how you control the baseball bat and what type of hitter you are.  

About Author

Doug Bernier, founder of Pro Baseball Insider.com, debuted in the Major Leagues in 2008 with the Colorado Rockies, and has played professional baseball for 13 years. Most recently, Doug signed with the Minnesota Twins in 2013, where he logged time at every infield position except 1st base in 33 Major League games. Currently Doug is with the Twins' AAA team in Rochester, NY

1 Comment

  1. Hi Doug,

    When I grip the bat, I like to put the thumb of my bottom hand over the fingers of my top hand. It seems to help me cut down on over-extending my swing a bit. Have you ever heard of anyone that does this?

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