Most people who have played baseball will wish, at some point in their life, to try an inside-out swing. It is a somewhat advanced move, but an effective one that has been made popular by some of the best hitters in the sport, such as Derek Jeter, Wade Boggs, Rod Carew, and Tony Gwynn.
Why do many want to master an inside-out swing in baseball? In a typical swing, a right-handed batter will send the ball into left field.
But with an inside-out swing, the batter has to wait longer to hit the ball and then the batter’s hands pivot the bat just enough to send the baseball flying into right field instead.
It can take some training for baseball players to perfect the swing, but it can be mastered through practice and determination. The swing lets you hit the baseball with the inside of the bat and send it out in an unexpected direction.
This adds power to your swing and can take the hit very far. The barrel of the bat is the part that actually hits the ball.
So what is an inside-out swing in baseball, and how can you perfect it? It’s not a matter of swinging with hope that your ball happens to fly in the direction you want; it’s a hitting technique that takes practice to perfect.
Let’s examine what an inside-out swing is and how you can use it to improve your ability and game play.
The Inside Out Swing
To execute an inside-out swing, you place the heel of your hand on the bat’s handle. This lets you hit the baseball closer to your body with the lower part of the bat and with a lot of power.
This swing needs a constant hold. The batter’s hands on the bat must remain in almost the same exact position throughout the swing.
The batter needs to position their bat very carefully when they hit the baseball, making contact at precisely the right location. For this reason, the swing can be a lot more difficult than a regular swing to get right.
The Technique Behind The Inside-Out Swing
To try the inside-out swing in baseball for yourself, try the following steps.
First, you need to hold the bat correctly using your wrists and hands. Pull back and hold it in a ready position, very similar to your position for a regular swing, behind the body with a firm grip as you get ready for the pitch.
Hold the bat up in a swing-ready position as you wait for the pitcher to throw the ball. You’ll want to start your swing a bit later than usual after the pitcher throws the ball, aiming to keep the bat flat instead of letting the bat head swing forward too much.
You’ll need quick hands to wait for the baseball to get close before you execute your swing. You’ll hit the ball closer to your body, keeping your rib cage pretty still as you stop yourself from rotating too much.
Oftentimes, you’ll need to let the ball meet you at home plate instead of leaning forward to meet it. If your swings are too early, you won’t be able to hit the ball at the right angle with your bat.
At this point, you’ll need to angle the handle of the bat outwards as it swings into contact with the ball so that the bat stays level. Then, finally, pull the hands down toward the ground so that the bat moves behind the baseball instead of swinging around it.
Once the baseball has made contact with the bat, you need to follow straight through with your arms, with the barrel of the bat facing the pitcher and the entire field in front of you instead of swinging around. This lets you finish the swing smoothly.
Here are one or two things you should also think about as you attempt an inside-out swing.
First, you need to make sure your grip is strong and correct. The grip you need for this swing is a 1-1.5″ thumb side.
And keep your eye on the ball to determine the perfect moment to make contact in the hitting zone and send the ball out into the right side of the field (for right-handed players).
What Makes An Inside-Out Different?
When comparing an inside-out swing to a regular swing, you will notice some differences.
With a normal swing, hitters swing their arms in a large arc, ending with the tip of the bat often pointing into left field for right-handed batters. On an inside out swing, the tip of the bat should stay pointing towards the right, creating a path for the ball to take out to the right side of the outfield from the plate.
This swing will keep the bat’s barrel behind the plate until the batter hits the ball. Batters need to drive the bat forward quickly and then shift their wrist position out as they are hitting.
They primarily move their arms and wrists whereas, with a normal hit, they would move their bodies and hips as well.
Additionally, when the ball is being hit, the inside-out swing will move around the ball. A normal swing would just hit the ball head-on.
The hitting zone for an inside-out swing involves making contact with the ball with the lower barrel of the bat instead of the end.
When an inside out swing occurs, the ball will usually be hit into the opposite field. A regular hit during the game would not allow for this.
With a normal swing, a right-handed batter would always hit the ball towards the left field, which has a lot of fielders. Batters use this alternate swing to let the ball fall to the ground in the right field.
Lastly, the swing is all about wrist movement. With this swing, hitters will pull their wrists closer to their body than normal.
Why Opt For An Inside-Out Swing?
There are many reasons why hitters use an inside-out swing in some situations.
Most importantly, it may catch the outfielders off guard and offer a better chance for the hitter to get on base. This opposite field zone is less guarded, so a fielder would take longer to catch the ball.
It is particularly useful for right-handed batters. Since the ball will fly into the right outfield, this can allow time for the player on third base to run to home plate while the ball is far from them.
Since this swing requires a specific technique, it offers hitters more ball control and often makes the ball move faster since the bat speed is increased.
This swing is easier to execute on an inside pitch rather than an outside pitch. Inside pitches are closer to the hitter’s body and so it’s easier to hit them with the lower part of the bat’s barrel.
Good hitters can use this swing to keep the ball in fair territory and avoid the foul ball that is somewhat likely when inside pitches are hit with a standard swing. Some batters use this swing to try to keep their batting average up and avoid a strike when they’re thrown a difficult pitch.
Finally, to complete the swing the hitter needs to wait for the ball to come to them. Taking this extra bit of time gives the hitter an extra second to decide if they wish to hit the ball or let it pass.
The Inside-Out Swing Is IN
Given the benefits of the inside-out swing, this technique is gaining great popularity. It helps to elevate the player’s overall score and so is very desirable to use while playing baseball.
It may be hard to perfect, but once done right, the inside-out swing is a force to be reckoned with.