Originally Posted by 757690
For the record, all of my coaches told me to choke up with two strikes, every single one from little league to college.
Here's a research article about it. If it's accurate, then coaches should be teaching hitters to choke up on the bat, if they aren't already.
You might want to carefully read a couple of additional sections from that study:
Major league hall of fame hitters, hitting coaches, and managers (Alston & Weiskopf, 1972; Cobb, 1961; Lau, et al., 1998; Williams, 1970), and intercollegiate head coaches and hitting coaches believed that more bat control would produce greater bat-ball accuracy ((Delmonico, 1996; DeRenne, 2007; Gwynn, 1998; Kindall & Winkin, 2000; Polk, 1978; Stallings, J. & Bennett, B. [Eds.], 2003). ). This belief was supported in theory by Bahillís and Karnavasís (1989) baseball bat weights study. These investigators suggest that as hitters choke-up on the bat they will make the bat effectively shorter, move the center of mass closer to the hands thereby reducing the moment of inertia, in essence making the bat act like a lighter bat with greater accuracy. In contrast, the results of this study indicated that choking up on the bat did not increase bat-ball contact accuracy. Yet in essence, the hitters were as accurate choking up as with their normal grip swing.
The section above it ("Linear bat velocity") outlines the loss of power associated with choking up.
It appears that the plus side of choking up is that it allows a hitter to wait longer on a pitch with a slightly quicker bat; a potential positive for someone who's overmatched. The negatives include no contact accuracy gain, less plate coverage, and a loss of power. The first is at odds with the concept of any actual gain in bat control from the practice of choking up. The second makes hitters either more susceptible to same-side breaking pitches and/or coverage of the inside of the plate depending on where they position themselves.
Of course, the variable is comfort level. If a hitter chokes up but isn't any good at altering his timing or positioning, I'd suggest that any potential gains may be, at minimum, completely negated; leaving only negatives.
Knowing all that, I'd caution anyone from making a sweeping generalization about whether or not choking up is a good or bad idea as it's likely very dependent on individual skill and/or pitcher/stuff match up.