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Reviews of Baseball and Fast Pitch
Softball Hitting Books

There are a large number of baseball and fast pitch softball hitting books out there that purport to teach the major league swing and that are written by former major leaguers and other professional baseball players, coaches, and scouts. The problem is that most of those books are written by people whose pedigrees would lead you to believe that they should know what a good swing looks like, but prove by the photographs, diagrams, and illustrations in their books that they don't. That is a real problem for people who are interested in Rotational Hitting and the major league swing, so I have put together this page of reviews of baseball and fast pitch softball hitting books to help solve that problem.

Evaluation Criteria

When I review a book that talks about baseball or fast pitch softball hitting, I do so using three criteria. The first criterion I use to evaluate a hitting book is whether -- through the photos, diagrams, and illustrations used in the book -- the author demonstrates that they understand what is really going on in good swings, like the ones below.

Comparison of the Swings of Albert Pujols and Megan Bush

The Swings of Albert Pujols and Megan Bush

The second criterion is whether the author knows a good swing -- and a bad swing -- when they see one. It should be obvious that it's hard to develop a good swing in a player if you don't understand what a good swing actually looks like. The third criterion I use when evaluating baseball and fast pitch softball hitting books is the likelihood that the drills that are discussed in the book will lead to the development of a good swing.
     With those three criteria in mind, let me review some of the baseball and fast pitch softball books that are out there.

StarStarStarStar
The Science of Hitting
Ted Williams and John Underwood

The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood is the cream of the crop. The only reason I gave it 4 stars rather than 5 is that there are two minor problems with it. The first is that good hitters don't adjust to the height of the pitch by varying the angle of their back knee. The other is that the swing plane typically isn't quite as flat as some of the illustrations suggest.

StarStarStar
Mike Epstein on Hitting
Mike Epstein

Mike Epstein on Hitting was the first book to talk about Rotational Hitting. While it's not perfect (for one thing it's extremely redundant and repetitive), much of the information in it is solid and it is definitely better than the majority of the hitting books out there.

StarStar
Hit Like A Big Leaguer
Jack MaLoof

Hit Like a Big Leaguer by Jack Maloof is yet another book by a guy with a good pedigree who doesn't seem to understand what a good swing actually looks like. It's full of standard, and wrong, advice like swinging level to the ground and squishing the bug. He also labels as flaws things that good hitters actually do.

StarStar
The Art of Hitting .300
Charley lau Sr.

Not only did Charley Lau Sr. not know a good swing when he saw one, apparently George Brett didn't understand his own swing. The book is full of pictures of George Brett doing things that he never did when he actually swung the bat.

Star
The Making of a Hitter
Jack Perconte

The Making of a Hitter by Jack Perconte is the worst book on hitting that I have yet to come across. For one thing, he labels as flaws (Chicken Winging) things that good hitters actually do. The most (accidentally) amusing part of the book is the admission by the author that he never hit for power. By reading what he advocates in this book, it's obvious why that was the case.

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