(please note that the blue bars in the data set are from the initial data analysis of the SwingTracker data, while the red bars are from the second data analysis of the SwingTracker data. The blue bar outlier that registered near zero can be ignored)
PITTSBURGH – At Diamond Kinetics we define ‘Trigger To Impact‘ time as the amount of time elapsed from the start of your forward bat motion, to the moment of impact. In the batting cage they simply call it “a guy with quick hands”.
‘Trigger To Impact’ is very important since so many variables can accompany the end result of this metric. While improving ‘Trigger To Impact’ time will 1) help the batter wait longer to identify the pitch, 2) help determine the location of the pitch and 3) allow easier react time to the pitch, there is also the variable that includes a bat that is too heavy (which may ultimately slow ‘Trigger To Impact’ time and thus not allow one to maximize their swing potential).
In taking a look at the data set above, we can see the majority of SwingTracker users have a ‘Trigger To Impact’ time of between 200 and 240 milliseconds (the numbers represented on the X-Axis). To put that in perspective, the mean ‘Trigger To Impact’ time for Major League players is between 140 and 180 milliseconds, while the mean average for collegiate softball players is 208 milliseconds.*
So what does this mean.
In terms of what is defined at the Major League level as a “contact hitter” (a hitter with a batting average .300 and above) and a “power hitter”, (a batter with a batting average of less than .300, but with 35 or more home runs), previous researchers have shown that better ‘Trigger To Impact’ time is associated with the former (contact hitter) and better Max Barrel Speed with the latter (power hitter).*
Therefore while most players are capable of executing a quick swing (i.e. – having good ‘Trigger To Impact’ time ), the meaningful ability differences that result in more ‘counting stats’ are probably to be seen Max Barrel Speed and thus, Impact Momentum.*
That doesn’t necessarily negate the impact of how important Trigger To Impact is (after all, there is nothing wrong with having a batting average above .300), it just means that a quick Trigger To Impact is the foundation upon which all great swings are built.
* Research information from “Bat Quickness And Bat Velocity In Division I Softball Players” was used in this post.