If you look at the great hitters in the game, you will see many different stances and routines. Hitters employ many mannerisms and body positions to keep themselves relaxed and ready to hit. However, where all of these differences become similarities is in the "launch position"--or the position the hitter gets his body to in order to 'launch' the bat into the hitting zone.

I always look at the move(s) the hitter makes to bring his hands to the correct hitting 'slot.' Even though hitters start their hands in various positions in their stance, the spot they all get to right before the actual swing is made is very similar. There will be slight differences due to anatomy, but not a lot.

Here are a couple of check points to look for to make sure you find the correct hitting slot:

Side view (above) - Hands will be slightly behind the back shoulder and roughly shoulder height. Bat will be roughly in a 45 degree angle back behind the head (MLB Logo). There should be some bend in the front elbow (not arm-barred), but not much.

Back View - Hands will be roughly 3 to 8 inches away from the back shoulder and behind it. Similar to a punching position. Hands should be even with the front elbow or slightly closer to the body. Bat will be in roughly a 45 degree angle back behind the hitter.

Finally, keep the hands moving continuously (controlled) and the handle of the bat in the fingers. This ensures the whip necessary to fire the barrel when the decision to swing is made.