A lot of the posts in this blog have been about analysis of numbers. I know that spreadsheets, graphs, math and statistic can really give people a headache sometimes, so I am departing today from all of these and going back to something I used to love doing when I was a kid: Do you remember in the quiz sections of the newspaper or in the back side of a place mat (the ones you draw on with crayons to keep quiet when waiting for food to come in a diner) the quizzes that had two similar pictures side by size and asked you to find 5 or 10 differences and circle them? This is what this is all about, and Delmon Young.
One of the biggest criticisms of Delmon Young is that Delmon is a singles hitter and will never develop any power. I tried to answer some of this with math and analysis here last month, but let's play this game of looking at pictures and finding differences.
We'll make it more interesting than that: We'll look at pictures of swings by successful hitters and pictures of swings by Delmon to see whether there might be something obvious:
Let's start with the successful hitters:
and some lefties:
Mickey Mantle again:
Here are some Delmon Young swings:
Do you see an obvious difference between Delmon Young's swing and those of the other players'?
Here is some help: Draw an imaginary line from the base of the batter's neck and see where and whether it meets the player's tailbone during the swing.
Here is a visual comparing two of the above swings at the same point of the swing, with that line drawn:
As you can see, Ted Williams' (and all those above players) has his neck aligned with his tailbone, while Delmon's neck is way back aligned with the ground at about his back leg.
This is very unbalanced. One cannot generate any power this way. Actually one would be glad not to fall on his butt after such a swing. This indicates a top body and lower body imbalance and needs to be fixed for Young to be successfully hitting the ball far. (I could also talk about squaring one's shoulders but this is a different story and somewhat controversial)
Do you know who else from the Twins' team swings like this?
(Actually, in addition to Brian Buscher pictured above, Nick Punto and Mike Redmond also swing off-balance, with the known results)
Google images of swings of your favorite players and compare them to Delmon's or watch closely next time players hit (but static images are better, just because swings are too fast)
This is so obvious that Vavra has to do something here. I suspect that he sees that, since it is extremely obvious. If he doesn't (and at least four of his hitters swing like that), does he need to be a hitting coach?
Alternatively, the Twins should get this guy for their hitting coach. (The previous link is for a 15 minute instructional video on swinging by one of the best hitters and now coaches in the game of baseball; highly recommended to everyone who wants to look at the art of hitting. Have a look at it and then next time you watch the Twins have a look at Twins' players at the plate)
What do you think?