“Wow, where really do I start? I feel like Greg, since I’ve gotten here, has been like a dad to me, and I take his opinion and his knowledge of the game very seriously. He knows when to step in and say something, and he also knows when to sit back and let it play out.”
… [Beckham] credits Walker with helping him become a major league hitter with adjustments they made at midseason.
“We changed my swing. If you go back and look at the tape, my hands were by my head and I was very stiff, and within a month, I had my hands shoulder level and was very relaxed at the plate and hit .330 [in July]. [Walker] got me through hopefully the toughest time of my career at the start when I struggled so bad, and when everyone was saying I shouldn’t be up there, I shouldn’t be playing, I shouldn’t be in the big leagues. He didn’t believe that. He believed I should’ve been there and just got me through it.”
Getting ready to swing the bat, he came to learn, was as important as his swing.
“I never understood that when I get to a certain spot, that’s when I hit it, that’s when I’m good. And now I wiggle my hands a little bit to get to where I want to be. That’s something he helped me realize, and it helped me drive through the ball and hit the ball the other way.”
April 19, 2010
“It’s a matter of us swinging the bats better,” said Kotsay, who didn’t start Saturday against Cleveland right-hander Jake Westbrook and is in a 2-for-23 slump.
“Obviously, they’re going to go with who is swinging the hot bat. I had some tough outs, but for the most part I suck right now. When I get the opportunity to get back in the lineup, you want to be able to get some hits and help this club win.”
This brings memories of the Mackowiak CF experiment. Mackowiak was saying ‘I suck out there’ but Ozzie kept playing him in CF.
Division: 13.8%, Wildcard: 6.6%, Playoffs: 20.4%
Division: 7.0%, Wildcard: 0.8%, Playoffs: 7.8%
Division: 9.9%, Wildcard: 3.9%, Playoffs: 13.8%
Division: 6.7% Playoffs: 9.6%
BTW, here are the 2010 White Sox Plate discipline stats [Fangraphs]
And a quick explanation of the these numbers from the Fangraphs Quick glossary:
One of my main goals, in researching baseball, is to identify situations in which batters are not performing to the best of their abilities. I’ve previously shown that batters are least selective on 3-2 counts. This means that they are swinging at more pitches, whether they are in the strike zone or not. It seems that in this situation batters try to maximize swings at strikes in order to protect the plate. Perhaps this seems like the right approach on the surface but I’m not so sure that it is. I think that the same attitudes which led to the undervaluation of walks and on-base percentage (pre-Moneyball) are still around and are causing batters to be less selective than they should be on full counts. Alternatively batters could be trying too hard to avoid strike outs (especially strike outs looking.) Whatever the cause, I believe that most batters are adopting a less productive approach on 3-2 than they are capable of. …