Effect of Player Size in Distance Hitting Baseball

  • Thread starter Jimbo Hammock
  • Start date
  • #1
Jimbo Hammock
An argument arose in our office today concerning the effect that player size has on the distance that a batted ball travels before hitting the ground.

Assuming all factors being equal (humidity, altitude, launch angle, ratio of player muscle/fat/bone/etc, player coordination, etc.), my belief is that if Player B is 10% larger (10% taller, 10% heavier, and therefore 10% stronger) than Player A, Player B would be able to swing a bat that is proportionately 10% larger (10% longer, 10% heavier, and therefore contains 10% more mass) at the exact same speed as Player A swings his smaller bat, and therefore 10% more energy would be transferred into the baseball by Player B, the ball would have a 10% higher velocity, and the ball would fly 10% further, if the experiment were performed in a vacuum.

Is this belief correct, based on the laws of physics?

And, if performed in a real-life setting at the ballpark, would wind-drag/air-resistance be the only additional factor which would slow the baseball and reduce it's flight distance? Would the wind-drag/air resistance slow both balls equally, or would it slow the faster moving ball more, and if so, by how much more?

Thanks for your answers!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
DS2C
Looking at it other than from a physics perspective, a larger human does not mean a stronger human even if the size difference is purely muscle mass. An example would be Jesse Norris deadlifting 800 pounds while weighing 198 pounds, whereas many 300 pound powerlifters with much higher muscle mass cannot deadlift that. The CNS plays a huge role in strength output, not just the size of the muscles.
 
  • #3
Jimbo Hammock
Looking at it other than from a physics perspective, a larger human does not mean a stronger human even if the size difference is purely muscle mass. An example would be Jesse Norris deadlifting 800 pounds while weighing 198 pounds, whereas many 300 pound powerlifters with much higher muscle mass cannot deadlift that. The CNS plays a huge role in strength output, not just the size of the muscles.

Thanks, but "other than a physics (scientific?)" perspective, that is a useful reply. Smaller animals (mouse) tens to react (CNS) more quickly than larger animals (elephant)...

Physics pros, why is this so?
 
  • #4
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And, if performed in a real-life setting at the ballpark, would wind-drag/air-resistance be the only additional factor which would slow the baseball and reduce it's flight distance? Would the wind-drag/air resistance slow both balls equally, or would it slow the faster moving ball more, and if so, by how much more?
A lot more goes into ball speed coming off the bat. This Popular Science article hits several of the highlights.
 
  • #5
jbriggs444
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