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Batting Stance: Opened, Parallel, or Closed?

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  • Batting Stance: Opened, Parallel, or Closed?

    I've been working with my son's hitting for quite a while now as some of my other threads have indicated and we came across another issue my son and I noticed recently.

    He normally has a parallel batting stance, meaning he has both feet pointed towards home plate and even with eachother. My son was watching some Baseball Tonight Highlights a few weeks ago and saw that alot of the Pros were using an Open batting stance, with their front foot slightly outside towards third base. Obvisouly when the pitch is thrown they load up and bring the foot back towards the pitcher and all is good. But my son saw this and wanted to start trying it.

    So we gave it a shot and he has been doing a little better. He isn't cranking home runs or anything but I think he is seeing the ball better and getting better timing on it. The only problem he has right now is remembering to load up and step towards the pitcher. He didnt have this problem when he had a parallel stance, but I think it has more to do with just having a new stance and him not having that muscle memory with the new stance yet. I'm sure repetition will fix this.

    My question is here - What is a better batting stance? Parallel seems to be the norm, while alot of MLB'ers use an Open stance. I don't know of anyone that uses a Closed stance, as I believe that this limits visibility (I could be wrong though).

    Or is it all a matter of comfortability? It looks like the Open Stance is working for my son but I don't want it to be detrimental in the future. If it is better to keep him parallel then I would like to refocus his attention to that. If it is good either way, then I will let him do it how he likes.

  • #2
    Originally posted by jbolt_2000 View Post
    I've been working with my son's hitting for quite a while now as some of my other threads have indicated and we came across another issue my son and I noticed recently.

    He normally has a parallel batting stance, meaning he has both feet pointed towards home plate and even with eachother. My son was watching some Baseball Tonight Highlights a few weeks ago and saw that alot of the Pros were using an Open batting stance, with their front foot slightly outside towards third base. Obvisouly when the pitch is thrown they load up and bring the foot back towards the pitcher and all is good. But my son saw this and wanted to start trying it.

    So we gave it a shot and he has been doing a little better. He isn't cranking home runs or anything but I think he is seeing the ball better and getting better timing on it. The only problem he has right now is remembering to load up and step towards the pitcher. He didnt have this problem when he had a parallel stance, but I think it has more to do with just having a new stance and him not having that muscle memory with the new stance yet. I'm sure repetition will fix this.

    My question is here - What is a better batting stance? Parallel seems to be the norm, while alot of MLB'ers use an Open stance. I don't know of anyone that uses a Closed stance, as I believe that this limits visibility (I could be wrong though).

    Or is it all a matter of comfortability? It looks like the Open Stance is working for my son but I don't want it to be detrimental in the future. If it is better to keep him parallel then I would like to refocus his attention to that. If it is good either way, then I will let him do it how he likes.
    Edgar Renteria uses a very closed stance, Alfonso Soriano is another guys who "closes-up".

    Yes, it's more of "comfort thing". I believe most guys use it because it "forces" them naturally to put more of their weight on their backside, and it allows them to see the ball with both eyes better (as you said, the more closed-off the stance, the greater the chance for visibility to be limited). I use an open stance; I switched over [to it] from a closed one after little league - I found it felt like starting closed catered to me "stepping in the bucket"; when I started "open", it "forced" me to "step-in" to the pitch more. With practice/repetition I was able to get it so now I can stride "straight" everytime.
    Last edited by StraightGrain11; 06-02-2008, 11:28 AM.
    "Coaches should teach people to play better baseball, not teach baseball to make better players."
    "In the Little League manual it says 'Baseball builds character' - that is not true. Baseball reveals character." - Augie Garrido

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    • #3
      I have coached players with all three. Some at various points in their career did any combination of those options. Naturally I favor a balanced stance and that is what my child does. However, a good argument can be made for some and the open stance in that they have dominant eye issues. I do believe for many, changes in stance are really mental issues and especially so when, during the delivery, they assume their old stance.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jbolt_2000 View Post
        I've been working with my son's hitting for quite a while now as some of my other threads have indicated and we came across another issue my son and I noticed recently.

        He normally has a parallel batting stance, meaning he has both feet pointed towards home plate and even with eachother. My son was watching some Baseball Tonight Highlights a few weeks ago and saw that alot of the Pros were using an Open batting stance, with their front foot slightly outside towards third base. Obvisouly when the pitch is thrown they load up and bring the foot back towards the pitcher and all is good. But my son saw this and wanted to start trying it.

        So we gave it a shot and he has been doing a little better. He isn't cranking home runs or anything but I think he is seeing the ball better and getting better timing on it. The only problem he has right now is remembering to load up and step towards the pitcher. He didnt have this problem when he had a parallel stance, but I think it has more to do with just having a new stance and him not having that muscle memory with the new stance yet. I'm sure repetition will fix this.

        My question is here - What is a better batting stance? Parallel seems to be the norm, while alot of MLB'ers use an Open stance. I don't know of anyone that uses a Closed stance, as I believe that this limits visibility (I could be wrong though).

        Or is it all a matter of comfortability? It looks like the Open Stance is working for my son but I don't want it to be detrimental in the future. If it is better to keep him parallel then I would like to refocus his attention to that. If it is good either way, then I will let him do it how he likes.
        Couple of things to think about:

        First . . . if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just seeing something on TV is not a good reason to just go out and do it, unless you know the reason(s) for doing soand what it is you are trying to accomplish.

        Second . . . Along with the first above, if your son was hitting fine before, you may be adding additional components to his swing which may actually slow him down or lose power if as you say he has a problem "right now is remembering to load up and step towards the pitcher."

        Finally to answer your question . . . Open, closed, or parallel does not matter as long as he gets to the proper load/separation position prior to the actual delivery of the pitch . . . weight distribution (60-40 back), hand positioning (varies amongst hitters, but usually back around shoulder height), feet parallel to "launch through the ball" (figure of speech) and allow the hips to activate properly off of a firm/solid front knee.

        If pre-laod movement causes the hitter to plant open or closed, you will not get proper hips movement (closed = restricted, open = loss of balance) and power will be sacrificed.

        Depending on your son's age it's usually best to remember to use the K.I.S.S. philosophy, rather then over complicating things.

        .
        In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mudvnine View Post
          Couple of things to think about:

          First . . . if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just seeing something on TV is not a good reason to just go out and do it, unless you know the reason(s) for doing soand what it is you are trying to accomplish.

          Second . . . Along with the first above, if your son was hitting fine before, you may be adding additional components to his swing which may actually slow him down or lose power if as you say he has a problem "right now is remembering to load up and step towards the pitcher."

          Finally to answer your question . . . Open, closed, or parallel does not matter as long as he gets to the proper load/separation position prior to the actual delivery of the pitch . . . weight distribution (60-40 back), hand positioning (varies amongst hitters, but usually back around shoulder height), feet parallel to "launch through the ball" (figure of speech) and allow the hips to activate properly off of a firm/solid front knee.

          If pre-laod movement causes the hitter to plant open or closed, you will not get proper hips movement (closed = restricted, open = loss of balance) and power will be sacrificed.

          Depending on your son's age it's usually best to remember to use the K.I.S.S. philosophy, rather then over complicating things.

          .
          I am continually impressed with most advice on this board, good stuff here guys! Along the lines of comfortability, that is the reason I chose to utilize an open stance. It was comfortable and pre pitch I felt more relaxed viewing the pitcher with my head facing directly at the pitcher. However, one things that I had to continually make sure I did was to keep my front side closed off as I began my swing. If I got a bit lazy with my load process, I would find myself pulling off pitches.
          Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake. sigpic

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          • #6
            Closed is to drive everything the other way ... Edgar Rentaria is a perfect example hardly ever pulls the ball. It lets you not be as perfect because you can wait longer .. but again you can't hit inside pitches very well. Opened stance can be a couple things ... either the back eye is dominant so you open up to see the ball better or you have slow hands and are trying to hit the inside pitch better (generally pull the ball alot as well and have trouble hitting outside pitch). Parallel is where basically everybody starts and is probably the hardest to perfect since you have to hit every pitch and can't just focus on going to one field.
            “If there was ever a man born to be a hitter it was me.” - Ted Williams
            "Didn't come up here to read. Came up here to hit." - Hank Aaron

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            • #7
              I don't think its necessarily true that guys with open stances pull the ball that often. Look at Robinson Cano. His open stance allows him to glide to the outside pitch, wait a little longer, see the ball better, and drive it to the opposite field. That's actually why I'm switching to the open stance. Although there arer more moving parts and you're timing has to be pretty exact, it allos me to see the ball better so I can drive it to all fields better.

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              • #8
                I was about to offer advice, and then realized that Mudvnine had said everything I was going to in almost the identical language I'd composed. I see little value at your son's age of having to remember to do a complete load on each and every pitch, and most youngsters who do remember to close up from an initial open stance have trouble getting to the right position consistently and on time. Some kids can, but most forget to do so consistently.

                How 'bout this -- have him do some drills and BP with the open stance so he [I]has[I] to close up and load up in order to swing. Then, have him go with a straight stance for most of his BP and game swings. He'll get some of the benefit of an "open to closed" loading pattern, but will still be balanced and ready to hit even his load up is a little truncated.
                sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by M110fan View Post
                  it allos me to see the ball better so I can drive it to all fields better.
                  This is because you have both eyes on the ball.

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                  • #10
                    Whether a hitter is open, closed or parallel isn't going to affect whether or not he's a power hitter. Take all three hitters in the "locked and loaded" position and they will look the same.

                    Whether a hitter has an open or closed stance, a short or wide stance or whether he strides or doesn't stride is probably due to some adjustments he made at some time when he wasn't hitting well.

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