Here is an interesting article that refutes FindAGap's philosophy...
Energy in a Collision
Imagine throwing a ball against a wall as hard as you can. What will happen when it hits the wall?
Ball Bounces Off Wall
Everyone knows that it will bounce back!
Anything in motion has kinetic energy---energy of motion. The kinetic energy of the moving ball is converted to potential energy as the ball is squashed into the wall. This potential energy becomes kinetic energy again as the ball springs back into shape and propels itself away from the wall.
The change in the direction of the ball is caused by the elastic nature of the ball itself. Much like a spring, the ball "squashed" itself against the wall then rebounds as it becomes round again.
Now imagine that the wall is moving and has its own kinetic energy. At the moment of collision, the wall transfers some of that energy to the ball.
Now think about hitting a baseball from a tee. All of the energy in this system starts with the batter and is transferred to the bat. Some of the energy in the bat is then transferred to the ball causing it to fly off the tee.
Hitting a baseball that is pitched involves more total energy. The ball has energy and the bat has energy.
Batting from a Tee
Remember the energy that the ball has when you throw it against a wall? It has the same energy when it hits a bat. But a swinging bat adds energy too. The combined energies make hitting a home run easier when a baseball is pitched.
Why are most home runs hit off of fastballs?
Copyright © 2003-2005 Event-Based Science Project
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ___
Why are most home runs hit off of fastballs?
Gee... could it be that fastballs generally are thrown harder and with less movement than offspeed and breaking pitches?
Last edited by NotAboutEgo; 11-01-2007 at 06:41 PM.
The V of the hit ball = 1/4 V of the pitch and 1 1/4 V of the bat. This is where V= the velocity
The above equation represents that the resulting velocity (Vf) = quarter of the velocity of the pitch (.25Vp) added to 1 and a quarter of the bat speed (1.25Vb)
It seems that sources say the pitch speed DOES matter.
The Scientific Slugger imitates a ball being hit perfectly by a major league player.
In order to see what makes a home run, try adjusting the strength of your swing and the angle at which the ball leaves bat. You can also vary the pitch speed to create more complex combinations. Try changing one variable at a time, and notice what happens.
The distance a baseball travels depends on two primary factors: the angle at which the ball leaves the bat, and how fast the ball is hit. The speed of the ball depends on both the speed of the pitch and the speed of the bat. If the bat is standing still and the ball hits it, the ball will bounce off the bat with most, but not all, of the pitch speed. (Some of the energy is wasted in the friction of deforming the ball, making a sound, etc.) If the ball is standing still and is hit by the bat, it's given a good portion of the bat's speed. Combine the two and you can see that a pitched ball hitting a swinging bat gains a good portion of the sum of both the pitch and the bat speed.
What's going on?
Gravity is always pulling downwards on the ball. If you hit the ball straight up, it spends quite a bit of time in the air, but doesn't travel far from home plate. If you hit the ball horizontally, as in a line drive, the ball moves away from home plate at maximum velocity, but quickly hits the ground because of gravity -- still not very far from home plate. To maximize your hitting distance, you need to have both a high horizontal velocity AND you need to keep the ball in the air for a longer time. You can do this by hitting the ball at an upward angle.
If there were no air resistance (that is, if a ball didn't have to make its way through the air on its way out of the park), the ball would travel nearly twice as far. Air resistance depends on humidity, temperature, and altitude: To make a ball go farther, you want high humidity, high temperature, and high altitude. The Scientific Slugger is set for constant air resistance based on zero humidity, at 56 degrees Fahrenheit, all played at sea level.
Actually, there is a study online that claims that curveballs are optimal to hitting homeuns, because it is easier to convert their spin into backspin, which provides a slight add in distance. I'll find it later.
So, Tim Wakefield throwing a 66 MPH Knuckleball, gives up a 400+ ft home run ...
Must have been 600 feet if it was a fastball, huh?
Here we go...http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5086320/default.asp
Why hitting curveballs scores more homers
By SHARON BEGLEY
With Memorial Day upon us, scientists' thoughts turn to summer sports, and what could be more summer-y than Frisbee and baseball?
Conventional wisdom in baseball holds that, everything else (such as the speed of the bat and how solidly it connects) being equal, a fastball is more likely to be smacked for a home run than a curveball is. But when University of California, Davis, engineering professor Mont Hubbard and his colleagues modeled all the forces on a batted ball, they found that, in baseball as in politics, it's the spin that matters _ and conventional wisdom, in this case at least, is wrong.
When a curveball leaves the pitcher's fingers it has topspin, which means the top of the ball rotates in the direction of flight (toward the plate). Fastballs, in contrast, have backspin, with the bottom of the ball rotating in the direction of flight. Topspin causes a ball to experience a downward force, because the rotation changes the distribution of air pressure around the ball so there is more pressing down on the ball than up. Hence curveballs' habit of suddenly plunging, to batters' dismay. Backspin, in contrast, generates an upward force, somewhat like the one that keeps an airplane aloft, which is why a fastball rises unless the pitcher gives it a countervailing spin.
When the bat makes contact, the most obvious thing it does is reverse the ball's direction, so it heads toward the field rather than the plate. But contact also changes the ball's spin. Assuming good contact in each case, a fastball that arrived with backspin therefore leaves with topspin, while a curveball arriving with topspin leaves with additional backspin and thus more home run potential.
"A curveball already has batted backspin," says Prof. Hubbard. "With a fastball, in order to give it backspin and let it benefit from aerodynamics, you have to reverse the spin," which is tough to do. The well-hit curveball heads for the field with more of the kind of spin that gives it fence-clearing lift and distance.
I don't see why you are debating one concept. OK, you are arguing that women may be strong enough to hit the ball out of a major league ballpark. Let's be real. Your arguement is that if that 60 MPH pitch was 90 it would have gone further. Of course, not 100 feet further, but no doubt further. The problem is, how often can a woman get around on 90 MPH and make solid contact?
I can argue that I've hit balls 300+ feet against 60 mph pitching, and if the pitching was 90 that it would've been a home run. It just doesn't mean much.
Also to diglah:
Do you honestly think people could stand a full season of LL on TV? Do you think people would be willing to follow it? 10 games sure, but 162? Would it not lose your attraction after a month or so?
What I said was that there are many women who can hit long balls 300+ feet (contrary to popular belief), and if the pitching was faster in women's baseball, they would hit the ball farther. I said the added pitch velocity would provide more power, whatever that is. That is completely different than saying that women aren't hitting many homeruns because the pitch speed is too low.
That's exactly what I was saying, except for I never mentioned 90 mph anywhere. That is something that you and FindAGap have assumed, because you all jump to comparing women to MLB players. I simply said if the pitching was faster, the ball would go further.
The whole point was to state that women can hit the ball 300+ feet with pitching velocity that's not that high, because so many people are so quick to point out that women are not able to hit the ball very far. That's ALL the comment was for.
And, if women were to practice hitting 90+ mph pitches, they'd be able to do it. But, as I've already stated... if you would have read it... right now, we have no reason to spend our time doing so since we don't face pitching in the 90's.
My team hits off an Iron Mike that throws 80 mph, and we have no problem doing it. There are just a few women who are known to throw in the 80's right now, but we do that because most of the women we face throw in the 60's and 70's... so it keeps us a bit ahead of the average pitching velocity. If the levels and standards of pitching in women's baseball go up, which is logical during development, then we'll start facing higher velocities in practice.
Here's an interesting article. It refutes what FindAGap and Charger are saying about pitch velocity not having much at all to do with how far a ball travels when hit... (note that an "optimally hit" curve ball will travel farther than an optimally hit fastball... because of ball spin AND how well the ball is hit and NOT because of a lower velocity).
"A Fly in the Curveball
As the 103rd Major League baseball season opens,
physicists have now shown that a well-hit curveball
trumps a well-hit fastball. Pitchers must be so scared.
By Adam Summers ~ Illustrations by Patricia J. Wynne
There is a morbid fascination in watching a Little League pitcher who develops a good curveball at a tender age; more than one talented young fastball hitter has switched to basketball after facing that aerodynamic phenomenon, which can turn the most powerful swing into physical comedy. Some youngsters find the rhythm of this evasive pitch and learn to hit it with the same authority as they do a fastball. But for most batters (even at the highest levels of competition) the curve is a devil to hit-not quite as bad as trying to swat a flying mosquito with a toothpick, but almost.
Conventional baseball wisdom has long held that even if the bat does meet the curveball, the batter is still at a disadvantage; many observers maintain that even if a batter manages to crush both curveball and fastball with equal force on the sweet spot of the bat, the curveball won't sail as far as the fastball. But that clubhouse conviction has now fallen victim to a careful analysis of the physics of pitched baseballs. It turns out that good wood on a slow curve will carry the ball deeper into the cheap seats than it will Roger Clemens's best fastball.
As a boy I never got beyond the "keep your eye on the ball" stage of hitting, which led to a pretty abbreviated career in organized baseball. But now that engineers Gregory S. Sawicki of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mont Hubbard of the University of California, Davis, and William J. Stronge of the University of Cambridge have shown what it takes to accomplish the task, I don't feel so bad about my early retirement. To get the job done in the batter's box, they show, "all" the batter has to do is integrate at least fifteen variables and constants that define several physical characteristics of the bat, the ball, the atmosphere, and the world at large.
Hubbard and his colleagues have built a computerized model that gives a fascinating account of the dynamic between pitcher and batter. Standing just sixty feet, six inches away from home plate, the pitcher delivers a ball that may move at more than ninety miles an hour and spin at more than 1,900 revolutions per minute.
Of course, different pitches arrive at wildly different speeds and spins. A fastball can cross the plate in excess of a hundred miles an hour; expert pitchers can throw one with a backspin that exceeds 1,800 revolutions per minute. (In backspin, the top of the ball spins away from the direction the ball is traveling.) The curveball, by contrast, travels toward the batter at a far more sedate seventy miles an hour, but it can have topspin (the reverse of backspin) that exceeds 1,900 revolutions per minute.
The reason a curveball curves is that its spin drags a layer of air across one surface of the ball faster than it does across the opposite surface. Where air moves faster, its density is lower, and the difference in the density of the air surrounding the spinning ball pushes, or "lifts," the ball toward the lower-density air. Thus the backspin on a fastball causes the air on top of the ball to move faster and the air on the bottom to move slower; the net effect is to push the ball up. The topspin on a curveball pushes the ball down.
Physics of an optimally batted ball shows that the longest home runs should come off curveball pitches.
Of course, the faster a ball moves, the greater its kinetic energy: a fast fastball brings more energy to the collision between bat and ball than a slower fastball does, and so the well-hit fast fastball travels farther. A swing that sends a fifty-five-mile-an-hour fastball 410 feet would smack an eighty-five-mile-an-hour burner an extra thirty feet. Similarly, higher bat speed yields better distance. An extra mile an hour in bat speed translates to an extra seven and a half feet on the ground.
But the usual difference in speed between fastball and curveball pitches still doesn't mean that batters should hit fastballs farther than curveballs. The real keys to distance are two related variables: the spin of the hit ball and the undercut of the bat. When the bat hits the ball, the spin of the ball changes dramatically. Its final spin velocity depends on its initial speed and spin, the speed of the bat, and the undercut, which is the vertical distance between the centers of mass of the bat and the ball.
Undercut has a big effect on the ball's spin, and thus on the distance the batted ball travels. With a level swing, a ninety-four-mile-an-hour fastball hit with a half-inch undercut scarcely spins at all, and travels only about 160 feet. Increasing the undercut to roughly an inch, though, increases the spin to 1,800 revolutions per minute and sends the ball 390 feet. Curiously, swing angle has a much smaller effect on flight distance than undercut distance has. If the undercut is correct, even swinging slightly down on the ball will send it 390 feet. That's often long enough for a home run.
Perhaps the most counterintuitive result of the engineers' model is that an optimally hit seventy-eight-mile-an-hour curveball travels about 455 feet. In contrast, the same hit off a ninety-four-mile-an-hour fastball carries 442 feet, thirteen feet less. Spin makes all the difference. The initial backspin of the fastball is abruptly reversed by the undercut of the bat, whereas the initial topspin of the curveball is augmented by the bat. The net result is that the batted curveball spins some 800 revolutions per minute faster than the batted fastball, and that extra spin provides a bit more lift as the curveball sails out of the park.
So even if some precocious master of the curveball manages to make most of his opponents look bad, he'd better be careful. A pitcher never knows when the next player with the great eyes of Ted Williams will show up to demonstrate what a curveball hitter can really do.
Adam Summers (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Irvine."
Last edited by NotAboutEgo; 11-02-2007 at 08:35 AM.
I've been thinking about this topic and reading all the posts. I think there are actually several threads -- lines of thought, really -- wound inside one thread. One has to do with playing. Another is observing. A third is "objective" performance.
Playing is the most distinct grouping. NABE, if I may shorten her handle, is almost singlehandedly carrying the load on this point. As I see it, she's looking at it from the point of view of the person who wants to play, feels she has the right to play, and wants to find out how far her talent could take her and what accomplishments she could achieve if the possibility of professional play existed. This desire is independent of whether a league is feasible, etc., etc. It's asking the question: What level of play might be achievable if there existed a goal that a woman could aim for? This is by definition subjective, because it has to do with dream, desire, will and individual talent. And no one knows what might happen because at present the goal does not exist.
Observing is a separate kettle of fish. What would we as potential fans want to watch, if the WMLB existed? Some people would want to watch just because it's baseball and that's enough. Others would view the game on its own terms and compare like against like. Still others would go to see how the level of play compares with MLB. Those who just love baseball, any baseball, would be content. Those who want to see the best female players competing against the best females would be content. But those who compare the play to MLB would probably be discontent because they would not be comparing like to like.
This leads to "objective" performance, and that's what all of the statistics kept in baseball seek to enumerate. The typical fan loves the perfect game, the no-hitter, pitchers who throw multiple K's, fastballs that reach 90 or 95 or 100 mph, home runs, long home runs and even longer home runs. When it comes to the long ball, fans think length is important. Over the fence is great, top tier is greater, out of the park is awesome -- even though each counts for the same one run. Players who accomplish these feats are feted, even idolized. Fans whose appreciation is performance-based, using these sorts of criteria, are unlikely to support WMLB. I put the word "objective" in quotation marks because these are not, in fact, objective criteria; we measure only what we choose to measure, and value only what we choose to value, and these are subjective decisions.
People like NABE are constantly butting heads with the performance-based crowd and having to make an argument that maybe women could do this or that, if given the chance, when what they really want to do is just play and see what happens over time. Which is, of course, exactly how baseball has developed.
This discussion is not subjective vs. objective, it is subjective vs. subjective. It's important that those who stress the performance aspects -- speed, distance, power -- realize that theirs is also a subjective position. It makes the whole debate clearer. What do you choose to value?
On the material level, the questions arises: Would people pay for it? I think the answer will only be there if it's tried, but I suspect it would be an uphill battle because the playing field of values in not level. It is skewed to the performance over the playing, the "objective" over the subjective. But if women's baseball proved to be as much fun to watch as women's soccer or women's tennis, why not?
Women's baseball needs to develop icons. Current ones. If it were up to me, I'd be pushing -- hard -- to have women's baseball be made an Olympic sport. That was the big breakthrough for women's soccer. Nationalism creates an instant fan base, and a lot of fans would root for women players on that basis. That could carry over into professional play, and attract potential investors and advertisers. Nation-based competitions can be a real stepping stone -- just ask Dice-K. Until a woman breaks into the majors and earns a spot, which seems a long way off, this might be the way to go.
When those of us women who post about our accomplishments so far in baseball and the development of women's baseball, we are speaking in terms of women's baseball only and the current women's baseball movement... with the highly interrupted history of women's baseball since 1830 and the adversary women have faced during that time up to now in mind.
You couldn't have summarized my point of view any better. That's exactly what I've been trying to say, over and over. And, when someone has those goals in mind and when they spend time and effort honing their talents and skills, they can be capable of a lot more than what the average fan thinks.
I'm also looking at it from a progressive standpoint; meaning, given the right type and amount of opportunties, women could do things that most may not be able to imagine. I don't know if a woman will ever throw 90+ mph, but I'm open minded and don't rule it out; and if it happened some day, it wouldn't surprise me. It is pretty common for women (not all women but a good percentage of them and that percentage is gorwing) to throw in the 70's naturally. Given the proper instruction, experience, and physical conditioning, they could surpass that. It is known within the women's baseball arena that there are a few women who currently play baseball who can hit 80 mph. When I post these things, I'm talking about women's baseball... period... not having anything to do with MLB.
In terms of hitting, women are more than capable of hitting 300+ ft fly balls. Can that be improved upon? Of course. And the more girls and women have playing opportunities and a place to develop their talent and skills and have chances to work with quality instructors, it can happen.
You nailed it right on the head, Sandlot, in terms of what people would want to watch. Not everyone is interested in the same things, and not everyone is only interested in watching MLB and the power game. There people out there who like to see strategy and other skills on the field. My team played at historic Tiger Stadium back in 2001 against a women's all-star team from Toronto, and we had 300+ people watching us. If the game would have been marketed right, there could have been more fans there. I would say that it's a pretty good achievement for something that wasn't highly publicized.
I have a friend who plays pro fast pitch softball in Europe and Australia, and she said they get in upwards of 5,000 fans watching games there (in Europe... not sure about the crowds in Australia). If that is happening for women's fast pitch, women's baseball could draw similar crowds if publicized right and enough and a pro league was developed.
When the naysayers post comparing us to MLB, even when that's not the topic of discussion and the discussion has nothing to do with MLB, that's when the posts get twisted.
For those of us women and girls who play baseball, it IS just about getting the chance to play the game, without having to knock down walls to do so, and then seeing how far it can go... independent of any other leagues.
I agree that women's baseball needs to have current icons. While the AAGPBL was a very important part of women's baseball history, it wasn't the beginning of women's baseball... as organized women's baseball started in 1830, and there were countless teams and leagues way before the AAGPBL existed. People constantly compare us to the AAGPBL players, and as I said, even though that's an important part of the history, people should focus on what's happening now and what could happen in the future.
Actually, the work has pretty much been done in making women's baseball an Olympic sport. Many people have done the groundwork for it, and the IOC is completely open to women's baseball being an Olympic sport. The committee doesn't consider baseball and softball to be the same (as no one should). The key issue to this happening is if baseball will become part of the Olympics again. Word is that if the IOC approves women's baseball as an Olympic sport, it will happen in 2012.
The Women's Baseball World Championship already exists (it was first sanctioned by the IBAF in 2004 and USA Baseball started sanctioning a national U.S. women's team that year), and international women's baseball competition in the modern times started way before that. Several organizers worked for several years to create those opportunities for women, and a couple of the competitions evolved into what is now the Women's Baseball World Championship.
If a woman (meaning more than one, if they exist) exists who is good enough to play in MLB, she should be allowed to. Currently, there is still a ban on women playing in MLB. If, as the naysayers love to constantly point out, women aren't good enough to compete at this level, then it's an oxymoron to keep the ban in effect. Open the doors, and see what happens. No one will know until it does.
Great post, Sandlot - as always.
I look forward to the day when such insights are no longer largely, in vain.
THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD
In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die
Hi there to all!
I've been reading (with great interest) all of the posts. There is some fascinating discussion going on here, and I LOVE the fact that we're discussing WOMEN'S Baseball!
Okay... now...regarding the discussion about hitting homers:
Recently I hit a ball at the Women's World Series down the LF line (330') to the warning track, where it apparently hopped over the fence for a ground rule double. I could certainly argue that maybe with a little less angle on the ball or with a little less wind blowing in, the thing would have gone out, and of course I would have loved for it to have. I also hit a number of balls to the warning track in BP in Holland where I also played baseball, but with a men's team. I not only play women's baseball, but also play fastpitch softball internationally and on pro contract. My bat speed is good, and because of the smaller reaction times in fastpitch (.3 seconds to acquire the ball and decide to swing or not at about 64-68 mph from 43' as compared to .4 -.5 for baseball, .4 seconds being for a 95 mph fastball), I often have to slow my timing (but not my swing) to address the ball correctly. I can say, absolutely, positively that for me, on the borderline of hitting them out of the park, a little extra pitch velocity would be nice! I agree that bat speed is extremely important, and someone with slow bat speed is not likely to ever hit one out, but I do maintain that pitche velocity is what gives you that little extra distance if you're on the edge. When I hit the ball to the Warning Track recently, it was off a pitch that was unlikely above 50 mph. I think giveneven a pitch at 60 or 65, the thing would have made it. Would I have hit one to the 405' CF fence? Nope...I'm not hitting that far yet, but I hope to as I continue to work on my swing, eye, hands, etc.
In softball, I can say that pitch speed makes a huge difference. I hit with a light (by baseball standards, but heavy by fastpitch standards), 26 oz/34" composite bat. It's state of the art, and I train very, very hard, working on bat speed and all the hitting fundamentals as well as advanced techniques. In Holland this last year in softball, I hit 7 balls that either hit the fence on the fly or fell within 1 foot of the bottom of the fence. This was on fields that were regulation 220'-230' (And yes, I hit some out as well). In every case of the ball not clearing the fence, the number one factor was reduced pitch speed. Again, these were balls that were marginal...close to going out...not towering shots to 400' or something.
So, my opinion is that pitch speed DOES matter, but it must be combined with strength (yes, I spend a LOT of time in the gym), a good eye, quick hands and the use of the whole body (hips are especially important). All of these things can be taught and learned by female ballplayers. In general, our strength may not (on average) be equal to that of the average male of similar body size or composition, BUT, we can strengthen ourselves and work hard to where we CAN exceed many men's player's strength levels, and certainly to the point that we can add strength with skill to hit balls out of regulation Major/Minor stadiums on a regular basis. I think I'm pretty close, and will be continuing to work on my skills for next season and a run at the National Team.
Thanks for reading, and I appreciate your thoughtful replies and civil discussion.
Well I do see Sandlot's point, I have to say thats not what you've been arguing. For the first 2 pages you kept saying women could be as good as men. Only recently have you shifted your arguement.
This is all I would disgree with.
It isn't even all that common for an average man to be able to throw 70's naturally. Shouldn't women easily surpass men if they have the ability to throw so much harder with natural ability?It is pretty common for women (not all women but a good percentage of them and that percentage is gorwing) to throw in the 70's naturally.
People need to stop comparing women's baseball and women players to MLB players when talking about such topics, because, as so many of us have stated on here before, it's an uneven ground for women since we have never had anything close to what MLB players have... while in MLB and leading up to that starting from little league.
I also said that there quite a few women, who currently are playing, who can throw in the 70's naturally, and it's becoming more common (they aren't that hard to find and aren't rare like most people think). I never said the majority of women who are playing can throw in the 70's. I simply said there are many who are throwing in the 70's, and they are becoming more common.
Good to hear from you. Just for clarification, when you talk about hitting balls to the warning track in hardball, are you talking with wood or aluminum/composite/whatever space-age craziness they use to make bat nowadays?
THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD
In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die
Hi there Digglahh,
Most recently, the ball I hit in the Women's World Series was with a nice, high-tech aluminum/composite bat (which I got turned onto, by the way by my men's team in the MSBL/MABL). Having said that, yes...I have hit 'em to WTD with a wood bat -- just not quite as far and not quite as often -- yet. I love hitting with wood. There's nothing like the feel of it, and the sound? Awesome. I hate the cost though when you break them, or when you FINALLY found the perfect one and you get sawed off. My men's team plays game one with wood and game two of a doubleheader (every Sunday) with metal. I like training with wood also, and it strengthens me for the games in which I can use metal. I grew up playing only with wood bats (played with the boys from age 4-15),s o it's not a huge thing for me...but I do have to strengthen more for wood...no doubt about it. To move the greater mass and accelerate it through the swing requires more muscle. One side effect, I can say (and I don't know if this is true for other players who use both wood and metal alternately) is that I find I get more base hits off wood, in general.
Thanks for the response.
I figured I'd ask you about it cordially, before one of the "gotcha-philes" pounces and asks it derisively. I appreciate your honesty.
Again, whether a woman can consistently hit a baseball 350 feet is irrelevant to how deserving they are of opportunities, and certainly not a prerequisite for me to support the idea of women's professional baseball.
Thanks for your prompt and honest response. Welcome to BBF, hope you stick around. This place is a sausage-fest...
THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD
In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die
I find it easier to hit baseballs than softballs... Also experienced the same phenomena with metal vs wood... I find it easier to hit with wood than metal? Anyone want to explain why that is the case?
Where do you play fastpitch professionally? Inquiring minds want to know!
The former pro's I've worked with say to use wood bats while taking BP and to put white tape around the sweet spot of the barrel. This shows you where you've hit most of the balls (you can see how many times you've hit the ball off the sweet spot), and you get more of a feeling from it when you hit the ball. Plus, you have to focus on your timing more so you can hit it with the barrel. The former pro's say it makes you a more honest hitter.
I see the ball marks on my black woodie plenty good already!
I thought the tape was too prevent the bat from cracking?
It does take more hand and arm strength to get a woodie going. I know that for sure.