The 15 Strangest MLB Batting Stances of the Modern Era

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15 Quirkiest MLB Batting Stances of the Modern Era


USA Today Sports

Baseball is a sport full of strange things where superstition runs rampant. Every player has their own little way of doing things. It applies to everything from taking infield practice, batting practice, games and even the locker room. Baseball players like their routines.

Pitchers of course are all about routine, but the majority of MLB players are not pitchers. So nearly everyone bats, with the exception of American League pitchers. So almost everybody has a batting stance. They're like finger prints in that no two are alike.

While players are coached to do certain things while at the plate, when it comes time for the pitcher to wind up, every player does something a little bit different. It could be the way the hold the bat, or the way they move it during the wind up. Some players tap their feet to time out the pitch, while others remain still in zen-like fashion.

But even with all the different batting stances across the league, there are always a handful that really stand out. They're the stances where fans think to themselves, that's weird, which is saying something considering they're watching baseball.

So it's with those things in mind that we'll take a look at the strangest batting stances of the modern era of MLB. Why just the modern era? Simply because there's not a lot of old-timey footage on YouTube, nor would viewers resonate with players they've never heard of. Enjoy:

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Albert Pujols


YouTube

Pujols has a bit of an odd stance at the plate, but when you crush the ball like he does, who cares?

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Chuck Knoblauch


YouTube

Knoblauch became more well known for his troubles throwing to first base by the end of his career, but the dude had an odd ball stance at the plate.

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Ken Griffey Jr.


YouTube

Griffey is one of the greatest hitters in MLB history and his near perfect swing was a big reason why. Still, his stance to get to that swing, was a bit off the beaten path.

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Edgar Renteria


YouTube

Renteria had a strange stance at the plate, but the guy was as clutch as anybody in October.

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Cal Ripken Jr.


YouTube

Ripken constantly changed his stance over his lengthy MLB career and none of them were normal looking.

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Barry Bonds


YouTube

The home run asterisk king rocked a quirky stance during his career.

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Jeff Bagwell


YouTube

Talk about crouched stances, Bagwell epitomized that with his 2,314 career hits. Believe it or not, he also had a .297 lifetime average.

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Rickey Henderson


YouTube

The greatest base stealer of all time also had one heck of a batting stance. He crouched to the max, but it helped him hit 297 career home runs as a leadoff man.

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Craig Counsell


YouTube

This was the best clip available to show Counsell's stance and it doesn't even do it justice. He had changed it by this point in his career. If you can dig up some old Marlins footage, it will show the full extension he got on his bat.

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Nomar Garciaparra


YouTube

Nomar had some of the weirdest ticks at the plate. His foot tapping and glove adjustments are second to none.

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Julio Franco


YouTube

Julio Franco played MLB until he was 49 years old and had a bizarre batting stance every step of the way.

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Ichiro Suzuki


YouTube

Ichiro is one of the greatest hitters of all time and his relaxed approach at the plate is a big reason why.

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Gary Sheffield


YouTube

If you look up bat waiving in the baseball dictionary, you'll see a picture of Gary Sheffield. He no doubt sets the standard when it comes to this unique technique at the plate.

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Kevin Youkilis


YouTube

There's never been another player with a stance even close to as unique as Youk's. He starts with his hands apart, he bends his knees in odd fashion, but somehow he puts it all together.

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Tony Batista


YouTube

Tony Batista sets the standard for quirky batting stances. This is a guy who faces the pitcher for a good portion of the wind up. It no doubt played a role in the hilarious clip below.


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