Bat Velocity & Bat Speed

I used to teach a coaching course for college students and I talked about the difference between bat speed and bat velocity but a bright student told me, in one class, there is actually no difference between the two...well, scientifically speaking.  I took his word for it and explained, in hitting however, there is a difference.  Well, since then I did some research and I believe he was mistaken.  There is a difference between speed and velocity in science and in hitting.  Here is how it applies to hitting:

Bat Speed is how quickly the bat head gets to the ball.  A Hitter can take a very short path to the ball to accomplish bat speed.  Bat Speed can be tested with time or a stop watch but bat speed also has a technique/mechanical component.

Bat Velocity is how fast the bat is moving upon contact with the ball.  A hitter can have a very long swing that will generate a lot of velocity but the bat speed will be slowed.  

A hitter with a lot of bat velocity may have a long swing and therefore would hit slower pitching pretty well but would not be able to hit pitchers that threw hard and would have difficulty with pitchers that mixed the speed of the pitches really well.

A hitter with a lot of bat speed may not have a lot of power however due to the shortened aspect of her swing but will be able to make contact with a lot of different pitchers and often hit the ball with a lot of authority as these hitters will often rely upon the power of the pitch, the ball and the bat and not so much on the swing.

Ideally, the best hitters have a balance of velocity and speed.   The cool thing is too that the new Blast Evaluation Tool I use will evaluate the hitter on both velocity and on speed.  More information about the Blast is Here.

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." Harriet Tubman