With the back elbow up in the air it changes the hinging of the wrists during the swing. This, in turn, changes the path (see section on swing plane) of the bat, as well as the leverage which affects the speed of the bat. The proper advice, which may have gotten lost in translation years ago, is for the batter to make sure his back shoulder is slightly higher than the front. The forearms should actually be in a reverse "V" and fairly close to the body. This allows the bat to flow freely to the ball.
info acquired from BeABetterHitter.Com
The worst advice I've ever heard as a hitter was keep my back elbow up. That advice was definitely a myth because with your back elbow up you will automatically swing up on the ball. With a high elbow, it has to come back down to your side. Then, when it comes down, the bat flips out - causing you to swing up.
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