The violent collision between ball and bat is the single most defining feature of baseball. The speed that the ball is thrown is clearly documented, but just how fast does the ball travel once it is hit?
The major factors in determining the speed of a batted ball are the speed at which the ball is thrown, the speed at which the bat is swung and the point of contact between bat and ball. Bat weight and bat construction (type of wood, wood or metal) also play a crucial role.
Because of all the different variables and the fact that every player is different, it is difficult to come up with a single formula that explains how hard a player will hit a ball in a given situation. It is possible, however, to use radar gun technology (like that which is used to measure the speed of a pitched ball) to measure the speed of a batted ball.
Baseballs that are hit extremely well with a wooden bat routinely leave the bat traveling at greater than 110 mph. Balls batted off of a metal bat can reach up to 130 mph.
- Photo Credit baseball image by Lucid_Exposure from Fotolia.com
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