Kinematic and kinetic differences between left-and right-handed professional baseball pitchers

Academic Article


  • While 10% of the general population is left-handed, 27% of professional baseball pitchers are left-handed. Biomechanical differences between left- and right-handed college pitchers have been previously reported, but these differences have yet to be examined at the professional level. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare pitching biomechanics between left- and right-handed professional pitchers. It was hypothesised that there would be significant kinematic and kinetic differences between these two groups. Pitching biomechanics were collected on 96 left-handed pitchers and a group of 96 right-handed pitchers matched for age, height, mass and ball velocity. Student t-tests were used to identify kinematic and kinetic differences (p < 0.05). Of the 31 variables tested, only four were found to be significantly different between the groups. Landing position of the stride foot, trunk separation at foot contact, maximum shoulder external rotation and trunk forward tilt at ball release were all significantly greater in right-handed pitchers. The magnitude of the statistical differences found were small and not consistent with differences in the two previous, smaller studies. Thus, the differences found may be of minimal practical significance and mechanics can be taught the same to all pitchers, regardless of throwing hand.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 16797722
  • Author List

  • Diffendaffer AZ; Fleisig GS; Ivey B; Aune KT
  • Start Page

  • 448
  • End Page

  • 455
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 4