If you’re a fan of baseball, there’s no doubt you’ve heard the term launch angle. It has become one of the biggest trends in the game today. Players and analysts seem to be obsessed with it. It’s mentioned nearly every broadcast at least once. Basically, it’s impossible to ignore at this point even if you are a purist type.
Before I go on, I’d like to make sure everyone understands this one point – every ball hit has a specific angle which is measured in degrees. Also, if you’d like a detailed answer of what exactly it is you can click here. Even a foul ball popped up out of play behind the catcher has a specific angle measured in degrees. It is simply the measurement of the ball coming off the bat. Another term you may also hear the term exit velocity. While it is similar it is not the exact same thing. We will cover exit velocity in an upcoming blog.
So where to start? We are going to take you through the 3 different types of hits – grounders, line drives, and fly balls.
Launch Angle of a Ground Balls
We know hitting dingers is more exciting, but there are times when just hitting it down and hard will get the job done. Also, in certain situations it might be the better approach to move a runner along by a well placed grounder.
Let’s get into the numbers – According to MLB.com the launch angle of a grounder will be anything Less than 10 degrees.
Launch Angle of a Line Drive
There’s just something about the feeling of hitting a nice crisp line drive. It feels good, it looks good, and it’s definitely effective.
Many hitting coaches will strive to have their players work on hitting line drives since that shows that their bat is coming through the zone in the correct way.
Now for the numbers – The angle of a line drive is 10-25 degrees.
Launch Angle of a Fly Balls
Fly Ball – Fly balls are sometimes the result of things not going well, like if you’re consistently getting under the ball. On the other hand, fly balls can also result in everyone’s favorite the homer!
Now the launch angle with fly balls can be a little tricky. The optimal launch rate for a home run is 25-30. This doesn’t mean you can’t hit it out of the park with a higher launch angle, but those higher angles 30-50 degrees will produce significantly more fly balls which a lot of times will result in outs.
How To Measure Your Angle?
You can check out your launch rate by using a Rapsodo system or the Hittrax system. Both of these will give you reliable statistics that can help you figure out where you want to be in terms of your launch angle. Momentum has both and either one can be rented, so please consider that next time you come.
*You can see below how Hittrax keeps track and displays your Launch Angle in their app
Finding Your Optimal Launch Angle
Finding your optimal launch angle can be worth your time, because it can help you to improve the quality of contact you are making. For example, if you are finding that your angle is consistently 40-50 degrees you know that you need to adjust because you are getting under the ball consistently. Now that you know that you can make the proper adjustments to take your game to the next level.
Also, younger athletes should focus on having a lower launch angle to ensure they are making solid contact. Hitting mechanics come first at during those early, prominent years. Then, once they get a little older and their muscle develop they can start to increase that launch angle in order to drive the ball further.
That’s all for now, be sure to check back in 2 weeks for our next post on exit velocity. Until then, check out the rest of our blog here. See you soon!