Shin Soo Choo Missing Power?
Shin Soo Choo is well-above average when it comes to On-Base Percentage, .389 over a ten-year span.
He also averages 37 doubles per season over the same career span. However, his 162-game average for home-runs is ONLY 19.
Keep in mind that Shin Soo Choo is 5'11”, 205 lbs. (all stats are according to Baseball-Reference.com). Let's look at:
- When to bend, when not to bend (rotating speed v. moment of inertia),
- How Shin Soo Choo may be dumping bat speed pre-impact, and
- How-to increase rotational speed at home.
When to Bend, When NOT to Bend (rotating speed v. moment of inertia)
We're talking about the Conservation of Angular Momentum. Take Olympic ice skater Adelina Sotnikova, who won gold in the 2014 Winter Olympics for instance. Here's how she increases her rotational speed:
- She moves her arms into her center of rotation (Rotating speed increases, moment of inertia decreases).
- To go slower, she moves her arms and a leg away from her center of rotation (Rotating speed decreases, moment of inertia increases).
Moment of Inertia (or MOI) just means a body's tendency to resist angular (rotating) acceleration. Rotating speed and the moment of inertia have an inverse relationship.
How Shin Soo Choo May Be Dumping Bat Speed Pre-Impact?
Let's apply the answer of “when to bend” to hitting…in hitting a pitched ball, we don't know what:
- Speed, or
- Plane the pitch is arriving on beforehand.
Unlike golf, hitters have a split second to commit and accelerate their barrel. So in the first part of the Final Turn, a hitter MUST accelerate the barrel quickly with the torso using a bent front arm.
The second part of the Final Turn – when the barrel gets on plane of the pitch – the front arm begins to straighten to increase the moment of inertia (resisting rotational acceleration).
And of course, the front arm straightening at impact will depend on pitch location…lower or outside the zone, more straight at impact…versus, inside or higher, more bent at impact.
A hitter's post-impact objective, MUST be to get both arms extended. This would ensure proper transition of Centripetal (center-seeking) v. Centrifugal (center-fleeing) Forces.
Therefore, keeping the front elbow bent from the start of the Final Turn is critical to increasing turning speed and barreling the ball, particularly in high EV zones (Effective Velocity – Perry Husband).
How-To Increase Rotational Speed at Home
Here are a couple spine engine mechanics we could work on at home that would give us a repeatable power advantage at the plate (and what Shin Soo Choo isn't doing). Before the stride foot touches down, we need to:
- Have a downward shoulder angle,
- Show the numbers better, and
- Keep a slight bend in the front arm.
Fixing this can take Shin Soo Choo's 162-game average of 19 homers to over 30 for sure. Basically, it makes his swing more adjustable to higher perceived velocities, if we're talking about Perry Husband's EV system.