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Misconception - Line Up the Knuckles when Gripping a Bat

  • by Coach Ross
  • 2 min read

The baseball grip has never been too complicated. For the most part, an athlete grabs their lumber (or aluminum) as they would naturally and they take their cuts. Unlike the golf swing, which has a number of different techniques that includes overlapping and in some cases wrapping the fingers.

Despite the common misconception that the knuckles should be aligned while gripping a bat, the knuckles on the top hand should be in between the top and middle knuckles of the bottom hand.In baseball, there have been two commonly used grips over the years - the first option is an old school style, which features a grip where the top knuckles are aligned with the “door knocking” or middle knuckles. The second option, which came along later and was common while I was playing - features a grip where the door knocking knuckles (middle knuckles) are all aligned.

Are lining up the knuckles essential in being a successful hitter? Is this technique the key to becoming the next player to win the Triple Crown in the big leagues? No, that is a misconception.

Most players who have gripped a bat with their all of their door knocking knuckles aligned, have been forced to fight through the discomfort of the technique. Typically this grip does not feel natural or comfortable - the first sign that the technique is flawed. A hitter should always be comfortable.

Players who utilize this grip will also notice that the technique leaves their elbows in an awkward position. The biomechanics of the middle knuckle approach causes the elbows to turn inward, which is not conducive in driving the ball or hitting for power.

Players who use the technique where the middle knuckles are aligned with the top knuckles will find this is an awkward grip, as well. It leaves the elbows sticking out and hinders a players flexibility. I presume if a caveman gripped a baseball bat he would likely use this technique.

At the point of contact a hitter's middle knuckles or door knocking knuckles, should be closely aligned.The best approach to gripping a bat is actually a combination of the two aforementioned techniques. The grip should feature the top hand being lined up in-between the door knocking knuckles and the top knuckles of the bottom hand. Then, at the point of contact, the door knocking knuckles should be aligned.

This technique is superior to the others because it is typically the most comfortable for an athlete and it promotes mobility. This type of grip is the most effective because it allows a player to maneuver the upper body most freely.

The next time you grip a bat take a closer look at how your knuckles are lined up. Do you have a caveman grip? Or is the middle knuckle approach limiting your power potential? Find that happy place in between your knuckles that allows you to be comfortable and productive at the plate.