Attack Angle is the angle of the bat's path, at impact, relative to horizontal. A positive value indicates swinging up, and a negative value indicates swinging down, where zero is perfectly level.
Why is Attack Angle important?
Attack Angle is important for two reasons: 1. Matching the bat path to the pitch path increases the likelihood of contact. Because the pitch is thrown from an elevated mound, it is typically on a downward angle as it crosses the plate. Therefore, a positive Attack Angle provides more opportunity to execute against a variety of pitches, which can vary in height, speed, and angle. 2. A positive Attack Angle will typically get the ball in the air and maximize the ball flight distance. With the emphasis on launch angles in MLB, Attack Angle is the most direct metric for correlating to the batted ball launch angle.
What should Attack Angle be?
The average fastball crosses the plate at a 6 degree downward angle, while a breaking ball crosses the plate at a minimum 10 degree downward angle. Other factors include swing speed and style, pitch velocity and location, and game situation. MLB hitting coaches often teach that in order to hit a line drive, the hitter needs an Attack Angle between 6 - 14 degrees. In a real game scenario, adaptation may be required to put the ball in play, resulting in Attack Angles beyond this suggested range. The typical Attack Angle depends on age, strength, bat length and weight, experience level, swing style, and use case (practice swings vs game swings). Analysis from our database provides typical Attack Angle ranges for the following age groups and skill levels for baseball: * Professional: 2 to 16 deg * Minor League MiLB: 1 to 15 deg * College: 0 to 14 deg * High School Varsity: 0 to 14 deg * High School Junior Varsity: 0 to 14 deg * Middle School: 0 to 14 deg * Youth: 0 to 14 deg
How do I improve Attack Angle?
One of the best ways to improve Attack Angle is to use external focus or coaching cues to help the hitter elevate the ball in the air. This feedback mechanism helps the hitter to more quickly learn how to achieve a positive Attack Angle. Hitters can use an elevated target in a net or at the back of a batting cage to more quickly learn to achieve a positive Attack Angle. Tracking the Attack Angle with the Vertical Bat Angle will help to obtain an efficient and connected bat path that maximizes ball flight distance.