Proper Way To Grip A Bat For Baseball & Softball Youth Power | Door Knocking Knuckle OR Box Hold?

Proper Way To Grip A Bat For Lefty Or Righty Baseball & Softball Youth Power | Door Knocking Knuckles OR Box Hold, Which Is Best?


Discover the proper way to grip a bat for lefty or righty baseball and softball youth power.  Learn which is best in this swing experiment, a door knocking knuckle grip or a box grip?

Batting Grip: “Door Knocking Knuckle” Swing Experiment



Question: Does a ‘door knocking knuckle’ batting grip increase bat and hand speed?

Using the Zepp (Labs) Baseball app, I wanted to use the Scientific Method to see if using the “gorilla grip” or “door knocking knuckle” softball batting grip produces more bat and hand speed.  One of my online lessons, Tyler Doerner, a red-shirt freshman at Manchester University in North Manchester, Indiana is interning for me this summer, and will be doing the experiment.


Background Research

This experiment is based on a book by Rod Delmonico called Hit and Run Baseball.  The book was written in 1992, and Coach Delmonico talked about a grip test that I do with my hitters to show them proper grip (included in video above).

To show how important grip is to swinging a bat, check out this podcast interview with kettlebell strength coach Pavel Tsatsouline.  He goes into depth, particularly grip strength training, about the connection between the grip and mid-section.

Also, Jedd Johnson’s Ultimate Forearm Training for Baseball Players has had a huge influence on me and the importance of grip.  Jedd has put together a pretty comprehensive training manual for both grip and forearm training for ball players.  Jedd played college ball, and is co-founder of, where he’s done amazing feats of grip strength himself.


Based on the above research and my experience training hitters over the years, I think the “gorilla grip” will add more bat and hand speed, than the “door knocking knuckle” grip.  The problem with the “door knocking knuckle” softball batting grip, is that it doesn’t take into account different hand sizes.

When my hitters use the “door knocking knuckle” grip method, the elbows awkwardly hug together in the stance.  It puts the hitter in an nonathletic starting position.


Softball Batting Grip Experiment Setup

Equipment Used:

Softball Batting Grip Experiment: Zepp

Zepp Baseball App

  • Zepp Baseball app,
  • SwingAway MVP Bryce Harper model (Tyler used a Solohitter I believe),
  • Camera phone and Tripod, and
  • Minus-3 33 inch comp bat.


  • Solohitter was set slightly behind the front feedback marker, and ball height was about the hip.
  • First 100 baseballs were hit using a “Door Knocking Knuckles” softball batting grip.
  • Second 100 baseballs were hit using a “Gorilla Grip”.


Data Collected (Zepp Baseball App Screenshots)


Data Analysis & Conclusion

  • “Gorilla Grip” ended up, on average, 2-mph faster bat speed,
  • “Gorilla Grip” ended up, on average, 2-mph faster hand speed, and
  • “Gorilla Grip” ended up, on average, .005 seconds faster Time To Impact.


  • Tyler had little to no break in between the 100 swings because there was rain coming where he was, and he had to rush to get the experiment done, so even if he was tired during the “Gorilla Grip” test, the metrics didn’t show it.
  • An average increase of 2-mph bat speed can add 8-16 feet of batted ball distance.  1-mph of bat speed = 4 to 8-feet of batted ball distance, depending on pitching velocity.
  • The bottom line about the “Gorilla Grip” is that a 7 year old all the way up to a 21 year old can grip the bat handle in the same part of the hands.  It doesn’t matter the hand size.  The “Gorilla Grip” still works.  The same cannot be said for the “door knocking knuckle” softball batting grip.

In Conclusion

Try this test for yourself, and definitely tinker and test.  What I’d like to see from this same experiment in the future, is to have ample physical rest for the “Gorilla Grip” test, and see where it goes from there.  That being said, from the results of this softball batting grip experiment, I think we can put the “door knocking knuckles” grip MYTH to bed.

Joey Myers
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10 replies
  1. Joe
    Joe says:

    Absolutely a great presentation, Joey! Certainly one of the best you have done. See if you can get contact the gorilla’s agent. Maybe you can take this production to Broadway, or maybe a commercial with the Gorilla Tape people.

    Seriously, excellent demonstration and very effective use of Rod Delmonico’s example. By the way, this should be the grip of couch for all hitters.

    • Joey Myers
      Joey Myers says:

      Thanks for the feedback on the post Joe! I really appreciate it. lol, I saw that picture of the gorilla and had to contact his agent 😀 Originally, Coach Delmonico used only two examples in his test, the finger in the palm, and the gorilla grip. I add the “in the fingers” one to show another angle.

  2. Joe
    Joe says:

    Mantle used that grip. Should be the grip of choice for all hitters. I guess Charley Lau and Walt Hriniak are to blame for the knock knuckle grip. Id trust the gorilla. Excuse the typos, the result of big hands and autocorrect on my phone.

    • Joey Myers
      Joey Myers says:

      lol, that’s okay Joe, I’m sure others have fallen into auto-correct faux-paus! I totally agree. I used that grip for four years in middle and high school thanks to Lau.

    • Joey Myers
      Joey Myers says:

      Dan, try fast forwarding and pausing the video at the 5:46 mark, and click the link. If you wait till the end, then the link goes away. Let me know if this helps 🙂

  3. Joe
    Joe says:

    Charley Lau was a charmer, truly a great guy. But how many hitters did he screw up? He out dueled Ted Williams in the teaching of hitting because Williams was a little too evasive and difficult to deal with. But who understood hitting better? Williams’ book is the seminal guideline for what hitters are doing today. And Williams did it all without video and degrees in biophysics and kinesiology.

    • Joey Myers
      Joey Myers says:

      You bet they are Tim. Maybe not like taking 1,000 swings each test, but a good start. Using Zepp on all swings gives us an apples to apples comparison. The Zepp may not be the most accurate device to use, but just as long as we’re comparing the same data across the board.


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