Originally Posted by SteelSD
You might want to carefully read a couple of additional sections from that study:
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.
Good stuff, thanks.
I agree. It depends on the player and the situation, but it shouldn't be dismissed altogether.
IIFC, Charlie Lau would teach his smaller hitters, like Mark Belanger, to choke up almost all the time, but not stronger guys like Frank Thomas.
Btw, nice to have ya back after all these years