Bat Drag vs. Bat Lag
Bat Drag and Bat Lag are two terms that are often used
inter-changably. While that is understandable -- the two terms
are quite similar -- it's problematic because Bat
Drag is bad while Bat
Lag is good.
As I explain in greater detail in my piece on
Bat Drag occurs
when the hitter's back elbow slides forward of their back hip and
under their front elbow, causing them to make contact farther out
front than is typical. Bat Drag may also cause the barrel to dump
down out of the plane of the swing.
Bat Drag is usually caused by the hitter trying to power
their swing with their arms, and with their back arm in
Bat Lag is a normal stage of a
high-level swing. As the hands
rotate around the hitter's body, the barrel will tend to lag behind
the hands. In most cases, the result will be a 90 degree angle
between the front forearm and the barrel of the bat.
Generally, the longer the hitter can hold this lag position --
and many hitters can maintain this lag position through rotation to the point
where the barrel is pointing back at the catcher -- the more
powerful the swing will be. In the best swings, only at the last
second will the bat come out of the lag position and rotate around
and through the Point Of Contact.
Bat Lag vs. Bat Drag
The frame below shows Albert Pujols just coming out of the Bat Lag position,
with the barrel of his bat lagging behind his hands and pointing
back at the catcher.
Albert Pujols in the Bat Lag Position
Notice that Albert Pujols' back elbow is at his back hip.
As a result, his hands are connected to and
rotating just ahead of his back shoulder.
In contrast, in the pictures above and below, which show what
hitters with Bat Drag look like at the Bat Lag position,
notice how their back elbows have slid forward of their back
hips and how their hands are rotating in line with
their shoulders instead of ahead of their back shoulders.
That is a problem because it will change where, when,
and how the barrel will whip through the strike zone.