What Is an Inside-Out Swing in Baseball?

Mastering the Inside-Out Swing for Improved Hitting in Baseball
Written by Mark Bailey
Last updated on

Are you a baseball fan looking to improve your hitting skills? One term you may have heard thrown around is an inside-out swing. But what exactly does this mean? In this blog post, we’ll delve into the specifics of an inside-out swing in baseball and how it can benefit your game. Read on to learn more about the inside-out swing and how to incorporate it into your hitting routine.

  • The inside-out swing in baseball is a type of swing where the hitter purposely tries to hit the ball to the opposite field.
  • It is called an “inside-out swing” due to the placement of the hands and the purpose of the swing.
  • The main difference between a regular swing and an inside-out swing are as follows: stance, hand placement, bat angle, and swing mechanics.
  • The inside-out can be good for hitters in a few different situations, such as when they are facing a pitcher that throws hard or if defensive players shift.
  • When pitching to someone using an inside outswing, keep pitches outside and down on the hitter since they have less time to hit with this type of swinging motion.

What is an inside-out swing in baseball?

An inside-out swing in baseball is a type of swing that a hitter will use to purposely try and hit the ball to the opposite field during the batting stance. Strategically, this can be helpful in certain game situations. 

It is called an “inside-out swing” due to the placement of the hands and the purpose of the swing. The word “inside” refers to the hands. An inside-out swing requires the hands of the hitter to be close to the body to ensure they stay between the ball and the hitter’s body. By bringing the hands close and between the ball and body (inside), the bat will make late contact with the ball, forcing it to the opposite field (out) to catch fielders out of position.

What is the difference between a regular swing and an inside-out swing?

The differences between a regular swing and an inside-out swing are as follows:

1. Stance

When standing in the batter’s box waiting for the pitch, the feet are in the same position, whether for a regular or inside-out swing. The main difference in the stance is the hands. The hitter’s hands on a regular swing can be anywhere they feel comfortable, but for a deliberate inside-out swing, the hands come much closer to the chest in the hitter’s stance. To help even further, some hitters will place their lead foot closer to home plate to force their bodies to face the opposite field.

2. Hand Placement

This is the most crucial step in the inside-out swing. The hands must be close to the chest at the start of the swing and remain between the baseball and the hitter’s body. Doing this will prevent the bat from fully rotating before it hits the ball and should result in a hit to the opposite field when done correctly.

3. Bat Angle

Most hitters with an inside-out swing will keep the bat level with the ground. Some hitters will angle the bat up or down to encourage a fly ball or ground ball if they need one. Also, to increase bat speeds, hitters may drop the barrel of the bat downward during their stance to reduce motion friction and be able to get the barrel of the bat around the plate faster.

4. Swing Mechanics

With an inside-out swing, once a hitter takes a step with the front foot to begin their swing, the hands and elbows will start to bring the bat downward and across their body. The speed of the swing is determined by the grip and arm strength of the hitter, and while it’s not easy, bat speed can be improved with practice.

How you can use the inside-out swing to your advantage

The inside-out swing can be good for hitters in a few different situations. First, if a hitter is facing a pitcher that throws hard, inside, or both, an inside-out swing helps him not only catch up to the velocity of the ball but also have the barrel of the bat cross the plate at the same time as the pitch at an angle that will push the ball to the opposite field.

Second, if the defensive players shift (meaning they change locations in the field based on information about the hitter), they will normally play for a hitter to pull the ball. With an inside-out swing, hitters can swing the bat in a way that ensures any contact will go the opposite way.

What pitchers should do when facing an inside-out bat path

When a pitcher faces a hitter using an inside-out swing, the best plan is to keep the pitches outside and down on the hitter. With the hands close to the body on an inside-out swing, hitters will wait longer to swing. If the ball is on the outer edge of the plate, the hitters will not have time to adjust their hands or swing and will either swing late and miss the ball or hit it foul.

Disadvantages of an inside-out swing

The main disadvantage of the inside-out swing is that hitters have less time to hit the pitch than with a normal swing. The inside-out swing creates an opportunity for hitters to hit a high-velocity fastball, but if the hitter does not have superior hand and arm speed when swinging, the bat will not cross the plate in time to hit the ball.


Is an inside-out baseball swing good?

The inside-out baseball swing is good for hitters to learn for different situations. Not every pitcher is a power pitcher with high velocity, so hitters have plenty of chances for a natural swing with full extension. However, managers will call for an inside-out swing to manufacture a run if there is a gap in the opposite field and a chance to advance base runners or score a run.

Who are the famous inside-out hitters in the history of baseball?

Hitters with a good inside-out swing are likelier to get more hits throughout their career. In modern baseball, former New York Yankees all-time great Derek Jeter is considered one of the best inside-out hitters in baseball history.

In the entire history of baseball, there have been only 33 hitters to get at least 3,000 hits in their career. Jeter is one of them. In addition to Jeter, 1980s superstars Wade Boggs and Tony Gwynn also employed inside-out swings, and both have well over 3,000 hits. Even all-time MLB career hit leader Pete Rose used an inside-out swing if the situation called for it. 

In the video below, you will hear MLB All-Star Mike Trout of the Anaheim Angels talk about how learning an inside-out swing got him to the major leagues and how it has helped make him an MVP and future Hall of Famer.

How to improve at using the inside-out swing

One of the best ways to improve an inside-out swing is to work off a tee until the swing motion becomes natural. It takes awareness to keep your elbows close to your body as you swing. During the swing, the bat’s barrel (the thickest part) should be very close to the upper arm and shoulder (touching is okay). By doing this, the hitter ensures that if he makes contact with the ball, it will go to the opposite field. 

In the video below, Hall of Famer Derek Jeter explains his inside-out swing and how he developed it into a part of his routine.


As more pitchers learn to throw 100 mph pitches regularly, hitters are tasked with finding ways to keep up with these pitches. One way to give a hitter extra time and improve their chances is to learn the inside-out swing. While it is not the easiest swing to master, it is highly effective at getting base hits.