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Article: Joe Benson And The Twins' Hitting Philosophy

joe benson carlos gomez bryon buxton byung ho park
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#21 big dog

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 02:18 PM

 

I don't know if it is "worth noting" but the Blue Jays had acquired Troy Tulowitzki when they DFA'd Valencia and he was snapped up by the team with the first option (Oakland). And, if you believe MLB Trade Rumors, Valencia is drawing interest on the market. 

That's fair, but it's also fair to note that the team that snapped him up traded to get their old infielder back and is now looking to trade Danny away.  He's definitely better than he was with the Twins, but his new nickname ought to be "Suitcase".

 

And great article, by the way.  Fascinating stuff.

Edited by big dog, 02 December 2015 - 02:19 PM.


#22 Trov

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 03:22 PM

What I liked most about this read is that it shows no two hitters are alike, and a good coach gets the most out of what he has.  From my experience is it is not where you start but where you finish when it comes to hitting.  Some hitters have a ton of movement before the pitcher starts to pitch, but all the good hitters get set to the same point and finish at the same point.  It is so hard to tell an athlete that everything they have been doing for years is now wrong and you need to unlearn what you learned your whole life.  This just messes with them.  What should be done is work with what they know and make small changes to fix wholes in swings.  

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#23 formerly33

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 03:31 PM

By the way, reading this article this morning and then watching Byung-ho Park say during the press conference that he's planning on making some adjustments to his swing made me worry. Of course it's normal, but what kind of adjustments will those be?

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#24 Linus

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 03:56 PM

Given his age and multiple clubs and hitting coaches, the most plausible explanation is that Benson just can't hit. It happens.

#25 Linus

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 03:58 PM

That's fair, but it's also fair to note that the team that snapped him up traded to get their old infielder back and is now looking to trade Danny away. He's definitely better than he was with the Twins, but his new nickname ought to be "Suitcase".

And great article, by the way. Fascinating stuff.


Probably the biggest factor in Valencia 's success is becoming a platoon player.
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#26 TNLooky2015

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 04:12 PM

 

Yes... the TV feed would do little to help them mechanically. They have video from the dugout areas usually. 

No...Miracle and Lookouts video different players on different days.  Players (hitters) don't have daily film of themselves (from dugouts).  And I disagree that no film is better than some film (even if TV film).  Would definitely help with timing issues.  Parents sat at game contemplating about same issue.  "How can they not have film to study every game at this level".  They don't have film of opponents either at AA level.  

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#27 Parker Hageman

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 04:22 PM

Probably the biggest factor in Valencia 's success is becoming a platoon player.

 

 

Not true. He batted with the platoon advantage in just 39% of his plate appearance this year, well below even the average (55%) and proved he could handle the assignment as he hit .285/.325/.556 against right-handed pitching this year while hitting 13 of his 18 home runs off of them. 

 

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#28 Platoon

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 05:52 PM

The more I see, the more I read, the more I have come to the conclusion that the Twins are an insular, inbred orginisation with the same management, now going into its 21st year. Twenty years of mediocrity, hope, frustration and disappointment! UGH
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#29 h2oface

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 08:42 PM

Great Article!

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#30 Seth Stohs

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 09:17 PM

 

The more I see, the more I read, the more I have come to the conclusion that the Twins are an insular, inbred orginisation with the same management, now going into its 21st year. Twenty years of mediocrity, hope, frustration and disappointment! UGH

 

I think the second point of the article is to say that things are changing, and that's a good thing. There have been changes in recent years that hopefully will help this situation continue to improve.

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#31 Jham

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 09:38 PM

I had these same concerns about Danny Valencia.  He seemed to go from trying to drive the ball (7HR in half a season) to just trying to wait and slap.  I feel like Lew Ford might have had a leg kick originally, maybe not...  Denard Span was pretty successful with the Twins, maybe because he had that still wide-stance approach...


#32 Captain Hindsight

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 11:41 PM

Noticed the before GIFs were against same handed pitching and the after against opposite handed pitching. Seems like it would be better to compare them equally.


#33 ALessKosherScott

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 12:44 AM

For me, the problem with Benson was never really swing mechanics as opposed to approach. The forerunning prospect to Benson was Mike Restovich and the end ceiling for both of them was some kind of version of Tom Brunansky. Neither one was going to hit .300, but their power would make them useful if they could be .250 hitters with good defense in a corner. To get there, both needed to be a little more patient, especially against right-handed pitching, and work themselves into better counts where right-handed pitchers had to respond with fastballs. Neither one could ever do that though, and they didn't walk enough or play defense well enough to justify a roster spot. You could almost say that ABW is the current version of Benson in the system, although he doesn't have the usual kills lefty/struggles against righties splits you'd expect. 

 

Let's hope Benson can figure things out this time around though. 

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#34 Michael (ClassicMNTwins)

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 10:44 AM

 

I would be curious to see if this is also true of david ortiz

I heard his name fairly screaming in my gray matter while reading this post. Pretty sure DO would respond with: "They wanted me to swing like a little [kitten]."

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#35 dxpavelka

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 12:35 PM

 

I don't know if it is "worth noting" but the Blue Jays had acquired Troy Tulowitzki when they DFA'd Valencia and he was snapped up by the team with the first option (Oakland). And, if you believe MLB Trade Rumors, Valencia is drawing interest on the market. 

If you believe MLB Trade Rumors EVERYBODY draws interest.Kind of how MLB Trade Rumors justifies their existance.If 60% of what they speculated on actually happened I could make a living betting on it.I'm still at my regular job.


#36 spycake

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 12:58 PM

 

If you believe MLB Trade Rumors EVERYBODY draws interest.Kind of how MLB Trade Rumors justifies their existance.If 60% of what they speculated on actually happened I could make a living betting on it.I'm still at my regular job.

I believe MLBTR is actually pretty accurate.  For the most part, they are just collecting reports from elsewhere, but they seem to find responsible sources (and their contract value predictions are darn good).

This particular report was from Oakland's local beat writer and simply stated that Valencia and Lawrie are generating trade interest, without any commentary about the level of return they could command, which is a rather uncontroversial statement, I think.

 

(And for the record, the source also said Lawrie is "considered the better bet to be traded" which implies Valencia's trade return would be lower, another opinion that is difficult to dispute.)

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#37 jimbo92107

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 12:58 PM

What I get from those clips is not just a failure to load up, but a failure to follow through with the rear hip. Compare any of those swings to Adrian Gonzalez, and you'll quickly see the most important difference - hip follow through. That's what allows the bat to square up and travel farther with power and reach through the hitting zone. It's what allows Gonzalez to drive the ball to the gaps and over the fence to all fields. 

 

Now look how all these examples feature either no hip follow through, or a slight hip follow through. This is a terrible way to hit. Not only do you get less bat travel through the zone, you also increase your chances of injuring your torso muscles as you put on the brakes early. The most natural reaction to that style would be to protect yourself by not swinging as hard as you should. Thus, the punchless Minnesota Twins, with both feet rooted in the batter's box. 

The door opened. A woman screamed. Someday, my mom would learn to knock.

#38 Rosterman

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 10:08 PM

So that is what happened to Mauer, too!

 

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#39 Minniman

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Posted 04 December 2015 - 05:59 AM

 

So that is what happened to Mauer, too!

 

Mauer has a compact swing. Perhaps he needs a little more kick.


#40 dxpavelka

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Posted 04 December 2015 - 12:36 PM

 

 

 

 

(And for the record, the source also said Lawrie is "considered the better bet to be traded" which implies Valencia's trade return would be lower, another opinion that is difficult to dispute.)

 

Hence the crux of my initial contention that the thought of Valencia having had some sort of "career" type year is/was a bit overblown.




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