The recent retirement of Ken Griffey Jr. has left a void in the baseball world. As the owner of what many fans have long considered the sweetest swing in the game, Griffey possessed a fluid, seemingly effortless approach that was always a sight to behold.
Close your eyes, envision Junior Griffey getting a pitch to drive and unleashing that smooth stroke through the zone, then that picturesque follow through...beautiful isn't it?
When considering what it means to have a "sweet swing", I'm not necessarily thinking of the most effective or unique, as those may be separate discussions unto themselves. Players like Ichiro, Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols have highly productive swings that clearly help them excel against big league pitching.
Although those three future Hall of Famers can certainly hit, none of them possess what I would consider a sweet swing. The definition of a "sweet swing" is obviously subjective and open to debate.
From my perspective, it should pertain to a player with a smooth, fluid stroke, containing as few moving parts and potential mechanical flaws as possible. It should begin with a calm, balanced stance, gracefully flow through the hitting zone as the body weight shifts, then culminate in a follow through worthy of a statue out in front of the stadium.
Now that Griffey and his sweet swing have been relegated to the annals of baseball history, who is now the proud owner of the sweetest swing in Major League Baseball today?
Let's examine a few of the potential candidates. Please feel free to add any other deserving players to the discussion.