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Article: Let’s Talk About Byron Buxton’s Swing


I agree that Buxton has fixed his swing. In fact, a man with a swing like that belongs a lot higher in the lineup than ninth. Given what we've seen so far this season, I would go

 

1. Polanco. Switch hitter, highest avg, good all around offensive player.

2. Buxton. Great swing, fast as hell on base.

3. Rosario v. righties /Cron v. lefties.

4. Cruz.

5 thru 8...whatever, tinker with it.

9. Kepler. Good reverse leadoff for Polanco.

 

 

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Am I the only one in Twinsville who thinks he could take to the next level by adding one thing? The BUNT!

 

I think Carew would back me up.

Given his speed, I agree that he should have it at his disposal, especially when the bases are empty or there's a shift on. 

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In the first clip I noticed how Buxton's right shoulder and elbow really dropped (previously) as opposed to how it is now - stays more level.   Is this a separate change from the three specific things you discussed, or is it related to the stretch point?

 

It's all related really. Previously we see that Buxton used his arms more independently in the swing, casting a bit. Now it's a more connected turn of the arms and then straight through with the bat instead of rotating right after contact.

 

 

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Am I the only one in Twinsville who thinks he could take to the next level by adding one thing? The BUNT!

 

I think Carew would back me up.

Now wait just a doggone minute. This username...I am the father of a Carl who graduated in 2017 and an Ole who has just finished her sophomore year. Can you top that?

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He's laying off the pitches down-and-away. He's not swinging through pitches down the middle. Let's see LaVelle dispute that.

 

 

That's the biggest change, and most encouraging, IYAM.

I thought the laying off pitches down and away was the biggest and most encouraging change.  (Cue the tastes great/less filling argument.)

 

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He's laying off the pitches down-and-away. He's not swinging through pitches down the middle. Let's see LaVelle dispute that.

 

 

I'm trying to cut LaVelle some slack, because it seems like he's more engaged this year. Probably had a sit-down.

 

Engaged enough even to scoff at Parker's well-researched theories.

 

Alas, it appears that the man still does his best work from a bar stool.

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I just did a couple practice swings. It seems like the early wrist rollover and the front arm being close to the body come together when using a 'hands first' approach or an approach where I throw my hands toward the contact point. This in contrast with a rotational approach where my hips lead, my hands stay back but then are whipped through by the lat/core tension- when I do this, there is automatically more space between my lead arm and body, and my wrist doesn't roll over early.

 

Can't say whether or not somebody was in buck's ear about an old school charley lau throw your hands at the ball approach to hitting, and now the spirit of Ted Williams has set him straight, but these before and after samples are pretty cool.

 

Parker, I have been following your hitting analysis on TD for the last five years or so, and I think this might be your best yet. Those are some pretty subtle differences in those videos/photos, and not easy to see, let alone synthesize into a larger theory that is probably correct and not just speculative. 

 

What inspired you to look for those specific changes in his swing? The arm-body space is especially difficult to see. 

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I'm trying to cut LaVelle some slack, because it seems like he's more engaged this year. Probably had a sit-down.

 

Engaged enough even to scoff at Parker's well-researched theories.

 

 

To elaborate on the LaVelle comment -- the media throng were all enjoying an evening adult beverage in Fort Myers this spring. His remarks were good-natured and, to me, reflect a lot about how minor visual changes are perceived. I'm sure there are multiple readers that saw that and said "so what?"

 

And that's true. What if he made that change but continued to roll his top hand? Or what if he made the separation at his stride but continued to have an armsy swing? He might not be producing at the current pace he is. To me, seeing that change in the spring was indicative of him trying to move forward, trying something different. 

 

There is a lot that goes into a swing and a player's offensive performance -- gaining strength, not being injured, consistent playing time, etc -- but these minor mechanical adjustments can be critical in putting everything together. 

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I have always thought this was a source of problems... hands moving forward with the stride instead of moving back.   

 

Correct. You want to "walk away from your hands."

 

I've noticed Buck is staying back much better this year by watching his head--it doesn't dip immediately when the pitch is thrown and he commits to swinging. Notice the movement of his head in the 2018 vs 2019 shots-his head is much more stable in 2019. 

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Sure he looks better but is he hitting righties better? Someone needs to pull up those stats.

Here are his splits..... Top is 2019, and bottom is 2016-2018...

 

About 100 pts of OPS, 75 pts of slugging pct. improvement... Id say thats solid improvement.

 

2019 AB H XBH BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
vs. Left 27 10 4 3 7 0.370 0.433 0.593 1.026
vs. Right 122 29 20 10 31 0.238 0.301 0.467 0.768     
        
        
2016-2018 AB H XBH BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
vs. Left 243 60 21 28 82 0.247 0.322 0.407 0.729
vs. Right 607 138 54 36 214 0.227 0.277 0.392 0.669

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Am I the only one in Twinsville who thinks he could take to the next level by adding one thing? The BUNT!

 

I think Carew would back me up.

Not at all. I've been saying that since he first came up...and said it more when he was struggling. With his speed, that's a weapon that should be utilized to help his overall offensive game. Having that in his back pocket can only help.

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