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30 replies to this topic
Posted 14 June 2012 - 11:17 PM
This is one of the best articles I have ever read. I learned a lot about the potential effects of small changes in a batter's swings, and the videos are very helpful. It sounds like Vavra deserves some credit here, as does Plouffe himself for working hard to make the changes work for him. Great work Parker. You are an outstanding writer and analyst.
Posted 15 June 2012 - 12:11 AM
I can sum up Plouffe's improvements with two observations: 1. He's using a stance and swing more like Ricky Henderson. 2. He's put some dance in his butt. The more crouched stance and rear position of the hands creates a natural pull when he pops his hip, rotating his belt buckle towards the second baseman. This helps create a quicker and more powerful whip in his swing. The dancy butt is huge. If you plant your feet like Dozier, you'll be a crappy hitter with slow reactions. A good hitter has to be like a tennis player practicing high-speed volleys. You have to keep a little dancy waggle in your butt, and keep your feet just a little bit in motion. Plouffe now has a properly rubbery grip on the bat, and his feet are just busy enough to react in real time to the pitcher's motion. A perfect example of a great dancy butt is BJ Upton. Serious waggle down there, and the result is explosive. In contrast, planting your feet and tensing your legs is as dumb as squeezing the bat really hard. It just slows you down. Plouffe now has good waggle. Ka-boom!
Posted 15 June 2012 - 12:45 AM
Very well written article. In that last gif, it looks as though all of the moving parts in his swing are in perfect unison to generate that power. In some of the other gifs the different parts of his swing look disjointed a bit. I'm very interested to see how well he adjusts once the inside fastballs are few and far between.
Posted 15 June 2012 - 07:55 AM
Excellent article. A lot of marginal MLB ballplayers are superb athletes with so-so-to-miserable mechanics. Bad habits are learned early, reinforced when the special athlete excels over his competitors and then are hard to break due to (however occasional) positive reinforcement, ignorance, stubbornness, ego or stupidity. Kudos to Vavra, et al., for identifying area of improvement and, especially, to Plouffe for heeding the advice and being able to execute the changes. I hope he can keep it up. MLB pitchers are best at finding and exploiting (new) weaknesses of hitters. They never give up. It is what separates them from the animals.
Posted 15 June 2012 - 08:44 AM
Great article. I'm impressed by Trevor's ability to make these adjustments in his swing. It's a lot to keep in your head. If he continues to show such dedication, I'm encouraged that he'll learn to handle the other pitches that come his way as fastballs become scarce. Plus, as Willingham has shown, even when it's well known that you should not throw him a fastball up and in, all it takes is one mistake.
Posted 15 June 2012 - 08:45 AM
Great analysis. In the first video you can see that he never truly loads. The bat is in constant motion. Also, he puts the weight on his front foot too early and he has a bit of an overstride. In the corrected swing, he loads up, the bat is still and his transfer of weight to the front foot is timed out better, plus his stride is a bit shortened. It's amazing what a few minor adjustments can do.
[FONT=comic sans ms]"Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand." [/FONT]
Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:12 AM
In the stock market, there are fundamental analysts and there are technical analysts - one researches what is behind the company, the other watches for wiggles in the stock price and tries to gain insight from that. Both are valuable. Most of what's on TwinsDaily qualifies as technical analysis, good in its own way, but Parker gives fundamental insights that really buttress anything technical. Kudos.
Posted 15 June 2012 - 11:25 AM
I enjoyed reading this article. It was well researched and thought out. When you look at the progression of Plouffe's hitting mechanics over the past few years, you can really notice a difference. I think one of the biggest factors as to whether Plouffe continues to have success is his personal drive. Sometimes when you have a lot of success it is easy to get complacent and assume that the success will continue. Hopefully he continues to work his tail off so that he can make the adjustments necessary to keep hitting the cover off the ball. On a side note, one of my favorite hits by Plouffe this year was not a patented homerun to left field. It was a double he crushed to right centerfield on Tuesday against the Phillies. That showed me that he is developing the maturity to not try and pull everything.
Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:47 PM
Parker, nice job. Great article. Great analysis. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, and you know this as well as I. There're plenty of successful batters with all kinds of hitches, glitches, faults and various weirdnesses in their swing. There's such a fine line between success and failure at hitting ML pitching and so many factors that come into play. Probably first and foremost would be the batters comfort level. Especially with Plouffe. Look back to when he first came up. He was a mental wreck. He lost the position he owned his whole life because he couldn't throw straight. That's nerves. I agree with all the improvements you noted. But the big thing with this kid is he hit a few bombs and now he BELIEVES he belongs. He found a comfort level that works for him. He's seeing the ball well. He's gaging the zone well. Now he's got confidence. Personally, I'd like to see him push Dozier to 2B.
Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:03 PM
The comparison from a few years is interesting. The analysis is off. Earlier this year Plouffe was late getting his foot down. Too early - nothing behind swing Too late - dead fyi - nobody teaches the high elbow any longer - the elbow has to come down to 45 degrees before the swing starts.
Posted 15 June 2012 - 09:09 PM
HGH anyone??? I have talked to several folks who know the Mauer family and it is well known that Joe used HGH to get healthy and "power up" for his BIG HR year and then backed off the drugs once he was paid. Maybe Joe gave Trevor the secret potion so he can dupe the Twins FO into a multi-year albatross contract just like Joe did.