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#101 alskntwnsfn

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 06:30 AM

I don't disagree with Reynolds about head position. That could probably be, though it likely isn't that bad every swing. The thing I noticed about the split screen with his minor league AB was his hips.

His hips seem to be drifting away from the ball as opposed to driving the back hip towards the point of contact.

#102 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 06:45 AM

 

I think people are being overly semantic/picky. It is clear that an athlete needs to see the ball well, track the ball well, and anticipate where the ball will be.Whether you can track it all the way to the bat or not, who cares. It looks like he's having issues with his line of sight (among many others). But debating the meaning / precision of that statement is probably just not going with the spirit of many posts. IMO, of course.

I'm not trying to be pedantic about it, I find the topic interesting and worth discussion.

 

Say a pitcher throws a 95mph fastball. Say that fastball reaches the plate traveling 90mph.

 

That's 132 feet per second. Given the "average" human frame rate capability of ~60fps, that means the ball is traveling 2.2 feet per "frame" in the typical human's mind.

 

Now, obviously, elite athletes are not typical human beings. It's likely they see the ball better and/or their brain "refreshes" more quickly than a typical human.

 

But, still, that's a lot of distance between light refreshes. We're talking about the brain getting a maximum of ~3 refreshes as the ball travels the final five feet to the plate. Couple that with the fact the ball, as it approaches the plate, is crossing a hitter's vision makes it even more difficult to track. It's hard to track something moving that quickly in front of you because, as it forces head and eye movement laterally, that's another issue in itself.

 

I'm not sure it's even physically possible to track a ball to the bat, though that does little to undermine Reynolds' overall point. A good swing with proper form is never going to hurt a batter, especially one struggling as badly as Buxton.

 

I wonder how much this has in common with the motorcycling lesson: look where you want to go. If you're looking down over your front wheel, your movements are herky-jerky, inaccurate, and reactive instead of proactive. If you keep your head up and looking toward where you want to travel, your body naturally reacts to where your head is pointed and follows. The body's reaction is instinctual to what the head position is telling it. The link between our eyes and body is a funny thing and is far more nuanced and deeply ingrained than we often realize.

 

In that context, keeping your head down and looking toward(ish) the ball makes sense. It could give your body a loose framework of what you want it to do and letting the body do the work for you without the eyes (and higher conscious brain) having to override a default reaction.

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#103 alskntwnsfn

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 07:16 AM

Buxton's problems appear to stem from the following: 

 

- Poor pitch recognition or poor pitch tracking

- Not letting the ball come to him

- Too long of a stride (sometimes) and pulling his hips too much on breaking pitches

- Simply not being comfortable/confident at the plate

 

Here's what I'd propose the Twins do with Buxton...

 

1. Buxton spends as much time as possible "standing in" during bullpen sessions and tracking pitches all the way to the glove. Load up on each pitch like he's going to swing (but don't, a good way to get load timing down). Make it game (at least for part of the session), look down when the pitcher tells the catcher what he's going to throw and have Buxton see how early he can pick up the pitch. Slider recognition is really important. This will help with identifying strikes/balls too. 

 

2. Summon 2-4 pitchers from the minor leagues, at least one is LHP. Play a "simulated game" with Buxton and one other position player. No cages and no L-screens, this has to be as close to game conditions as possible. Also, make sure the cameras are rolling so Buxton/coaches can do a review session later. Buxton is so uncomfortable at the plate, it makes me uncomfortable! So, get more reps.... get comfortable without the pressure of needing to get hits. Right now, this practice should trump playing time, because until he addresses the things that are wrong, "saving" his energy for a game is just digging a deeper hole.

 

3. Give Buxton an extra rotation of BP. The first one is trying to hit EVERYTHING to the opposite field, or even foul down to the right side. Hit it to the right side and keep his head down after every swing. It's really important to be able to slap that low/away fastball to the right side or foul it off. Put a gun on the BP pitcher and measure out where he's throwing from so we can make sure it's approximating something close to a 90 mph fastball... otherwise you're just screwing with hitters timing. 

 

4. Look fastball, most of the time. Until Buxton is more confident in his pitch recognition, he's got to guess to give himself more of a chance... so guess, but don't jump at the pitch. The caveat here is that Buxton strikes out on sliders off the plate a lot. So if he sees a hard pitch coming middle/outer half with 2 strikes let it go. If at the last possible instant you see it's a fastball, then try to slap it to right or foul it off. 

 

5. Have the video staff prepare HD clips of Buxton and top hitters from around the league. Have him see how pitchers are attacking him, and what his swing looks like. Have him watch what successful hitters are doing. 

 

That's my 2 cents. 


#104 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 07:39 AM

Byron Buxton did not swing and miss at a pitch last night. That's promising.

 

Since April 12th, he has 20 PAs and 6 SO. Still too high but at least it appears he's making adjustments (and DickBert said last night that he worked with Rowson during his day off).

 

So hopefully the Twins understand the problem and are working to correct it.

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#105 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 07:48 AM

 

Byron Buxton did not swing and miss at a pitch last night. That's promising.

 

Since April 12th, he has 20 PAs and 6 SO. Still too high but at least it appears he's making adjustments (and DickBert said last night that he worked with Rowson during his day off).

 

So hopefully the Twins understand the problem and are working to correct it.

 

Progress I suppose....his at bats have been awful though.That's got to change. It's like his whole approach just shifted once games counted.The talent is there, but I think more than anything, his problem is mental.

 

To compensate, he asks anyone, and they all give him advice, which probably makes it worse.I do agree that it would be wise to have Rowson take over here, and simply tell everyone else to lay off him for now.... Let him do his job.


#106 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 08:01 AM

 

Progress I suppose....his at bats have been awful though.That's got to change. It's like his whole approach just shifted once games counted.The talent is there, but I think more than anything, his problem is mental.

 

To compensate, he asks anyone, and they all give him advice, which probably makes it worse.I do agree that it would be wise to have Rowson take over here, and simply tell everyone else to lay off him for now.... Let him do his job.

His plate appearances weren't awful last night, they were simply unsuccessful. He took a few too many pitches in the zone but that's probably what he needs to do right now. He made good contact in his first plate appearance, tried an ill-fated (but I'd argue decent) bunt attempt in his second, made mediocre contact in his third, and bad contact in his fourth.

 

If Buxton has more nights like last night, he'll start to come around. I'm not looking for a 3-4 night right now (though that'd be nice), I'm just looking for him to start taking pitches and make contact more often. This problem won't go away in a single at-bat.

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#107 Parker Hageman

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 09:19 AM

 

Knowing I'm picking a fight with a superior opponent, I will dispute a few things nonetheless. 

 

First of all, that seems like an overly simplistic explanation for what ails Buxton -- that he's trying to pull the ball. 

 

As Reynolds said, Buxton is not tracking the ball. Reynolds may have cherry picked, but Buxton has been so inconsistent that anyone could cherry pick just about anything at this point. From what we know about Buxton as a good human being, I think you are spot on that he is willing to take advice from anyone. Too many people trying to get between his ears.

 

I don't dispute the studies, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that a few of the elitist of the elite (not in those study samples) might be able to follow the ball right up to the bat. For example look at this slow mo swing of Miguel Cabrera: 

 

 

Whatever mechanical fixes Buxton makes, he will need to follow the ball all the way in (or as far in as possible) before his swing and coordination take over. As long as he consistently keeps his head in longer, I think he will break out of this. I think Reynolds had it right that that is the crux of it. 

 

You are saying that Buxton's mechanical issue of trying to pull the ball, which throws the body completely out of whack, is somehow overly simplistic versus, derp, he's just not watching the ball enough in the three clips Harold Reynolds (HAROLD REYNOLDS!?!?) showed during a two minute segment?

 

Here's another swing from last night. Buxton is tracking the ball to the bat.

 

 

Reynolds makes the claim that Buxton is having issues with the inside pitch because he is not tracking the ball the entire way. First, he tracks this pitch to the bat. Second, like I mentioned in the post above, watch what happens when he tries to swing at this inside fastball -- he cuts himself off with his front foot and is unable to adjust to anything inside. 

 

I'm not trying to oversimplify it at all. It's super complicated with no easy answers. If I had his ear, I would suggest trying to go back to some of things he was doing in September to see if that helps. Personally, after reviewing a bunch of his at bats on video, I think Harold Reynolds may have over-hyped an issue that does not necessarily exist. Does Buxton pull his head offline on pitches? Yes but not to the extent that he says it does. Again, I think it is a part of a larger issue. 

 

Here's Mark DeRosa, another MLB Network guy, taking aim at solving Buxton's issues:

 

 

I'll admit, while it is completely useless, the idea of "The Minnesota Lean" is amusing to me. DeRosa is on the right track. Buxton is doing things differently than he did last September. Posture would change his swing angle. 

 

 

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#108 spycake

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 09:56 AM

 

Here's Mark DeRosa, another MLB Network guy, taking aim at solving Buxton's issues:

Mark DeRosa? Dave was right all along!

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#109 gunnarthor

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 10:13 AM

I'm not sure why we are supposed to think that HAROLD REYNOLDS!?!? isn't a good instructor and your constant attacks on him are pretty off putting.  Both Reynolds and DeRosa are suggesting the same thing, Reynolds that he's not tracking the ball, DeRosa that his eye level is changing.  

 

And maybe the Twins are making a more conscious effort to get him to track the ball, which we saw last night.  Although that he's putting his foot in the wrong spot indicates he's still having trouble tracking the ball.  It'll be interesting to read what actual steps the hitting coaches had him work on. 

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#110 drjim

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 10:16 AM

 

I'm not sure why we are supposed to think that HAROLD REYNOLDS!?!? isn't a good instructor and your constant attacks on him are pretty off putting.  Both Reynolds and DeRosa are suggesting the same thing, Reynolds that he's not tracking the ball, DeRosa that his eye level is changing.  

 

And maybe the Twins are making a more conscious effort to get him to track the ball, which we saw last night.  Although that he's putting his foot in the wrong spot indicates he's still having trouble tracking the ball.  It'll be interesting to read what actual steps the hitting coaches had him work on. 

 

He's an analytical punching bag. Don't want to upset that group, the backlash never ends.

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#111 Parker Hageman

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 10:22 AM

I'm not sure why we are supposed to think that HAROLD REYNOLDS!?!? isn't a good instructor and your constant attacks on him are pretty off putting.Both Reynolds and DeRosa are suggesting the same thing, Reynolds that he's not tracking the ball, DeRosa that his eye level is changing.

 

 

To repeat, I do think Reynolds and DeRosa are both correct -- his head is moving -- but It's part of a larger issue. Reynolds (or an intern or an MLB Network researcher) oversimplified it. 

 

byrnesreynolds.gif

 

I'll go back to my original point: What puts Buxton in the different position that DeRosa mentions in his post is because his set-up is different. It might be because he's pressing, like DeRosa mentioned, but go back to what you were doing last September. Incorporate all of that -- the more opened stance, the lower hands and the straight-up stride. See if that works. 

 

 

"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#112 drjim

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 10:25 AM

 

To repeat, I do think Reynolds and DeRosa are both correct -- his head is moving -- but It's part of a larger issue. Reynolds' (or an intern or an MLB Network researcher) oversimplified it. 

 

byrnesreynolds.gif

 

It was a quick hit on a tv show. It's going to be oversimplified right?

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#113 killertwinfan

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 10:35 AM

I believe Molitor's comment was that he is so sped up Buxton is pulling everything. Is it possible the head position Buxton displayed in the video is proper for middle of the plate pitches, that you would pull?  Or, is it that his head is not in the right position at all, for any pitch?  My concern being of course, is that the people in charge of helping Buxton have no freaking idea what to do.  


#114 Parker Hageman

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 10:39 AM

 

It was a quick hit on a tv show. It's going to be oversimplified right?

 

Correct, and I'm just trying to point out some of the shortcomings with a little more depth/background. 

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#115 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 02:58 PM

 

To repeat, I do think Reynolds and DeRosa are both correct -- his head is moving -- but It's part of a larger issue. Reynolds (or an intern or an MLB Network researcher) oversimplified it.  

Where I disagree is I think those are the larger issues, and the mechanics can get ironed out with repetition as long as he steps in the batter's box with a clear mind and tracks each pitch. The cardinal rule in stickball sports is to keep your eye on the ball. See also: Max Kepler, fly ball, first inning. 

 

Standing tall will aid technique but it's also a state of mind. I think the lean exists and it indicates Buxton is worried about the sweeping breaking ball out of the zone that he shouldn't be swinging at anyway. Not swinging and missing on any pitches last night is a good sign. 

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