Listed below are the baseball players who swings people should study and copy.
Ted Williams is at the top of this list because the quality of his swing, his results, and his insights into what a good swing (actually) looks like.
Albert Pujols was the first hitter whose swing I studied in depth, and I learned a tremendous amount by studying it. My flipbook analyses of Albert Pujols' swing were also what put me on the map in terms of hitting.
I am obviously biased, but I am a big fan of the swing of Andres Torres. He's an example of a not-huge guy -- he's 5'10" and 190 pounds -- who can hit the ball hard and well because his swing is quite simple.
The Basic Swing
When developing a good, simple, basic swing, I have hitters emulate the swing of...
Simpler Contemporary Swings
Once a hitter has learned how to emulate George Brett's swing, I generally have them copy one of these swings.
More Complex Contemporary Swings
These hitters have very nice, but more complex, swings that should only be copied by more advanced hitters. I like these swings a lot, but would not use them as a starting point for a new hitter.
In my opinion, Bryce Harper's swing is the best starting point for understanding what the high-level swing looks like. While you don't necessarily want to take the swing to "11" as Bryce Harper does, by doing so Harper makes it very easy to see the components of the high-level swing.
Being from St. Louis, I have had the pleasure of being able to study the swing of Matt Carpenter. In my opinion, Matt Carpenter's swing is the modern swing that most closely resembles the swing of Mickey Mantle, at least in terms of the upper body.
Once you understand the swings of Bryce Harper and Matt Carpenter, then you can look for the same things in these other swings.
I label Matt Holliday's swing a more complex swing because he has a very effective, but complex, stride. Similarly, I see lots of people try to copy the running starts of David Ortiz and Albert Pujols and getting them wrong.
Hitters and students of hitting have long studied the swings of these hitters and have used them as models for their own swings. Since people are still doing that, I thought it would make sense for me to go over these swings, particularly so that people draw what I think are the correct conclusions from them.
Paul Molitor had an extremely simple swing, one that bears a striking resemblance to the swing of Shoeless Joe Jackson, one of the greatest hitters of all time. That makes Paul Molitor's swing a good starting point for a new hitter who is interested in studying a classic swing.
Jim Edmonds' swing is a great example of how you don't have to do a lot -- or in his case, anything -- in terms of striding as long as your loading and sequencing are good.
Of course, there have been many other great hitters over the years and I offer a look at a number of their swings.
Fast Pitch Softball Players
While I think the baseball and fast pitch softball swings are the same, the fact is that many girls will only believe they can do something if they see a girl doing it. As a result, here are some clips of my favorite fast pitch softball swings.