Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Compulsive Masturbators, lend me your ears.
I come not to bury Domonic's swing, but merely to question it. Or to rather ask questions about it from more learned individuals than myself. Like any good fan of pointless minutiue, I find myself enjoying the variety of swings that major leaguers employ and the study of what makes them work or not work. From Ken Griffrey Jr's silky smooth arch, to Chase Utley's quick ax chop through the stike zone to Craig Counsel's...whatever that was. I like watching them all and I like watching what makes them work and what makes them not work. Which is why I have concerns and more importantly questions about Domonic Brown's much maligned hand positioning and his swing. While Domonic's 87 total major league plate appearances of limited success proves that he not only is a terrible ballplayer, but also a terrible human being incapable any sort of redemption, lets pretend there actually is a salvagable baseball player/soul in there.
What is he doing wrong with his swing? Is there anything wrong with his swing? Is his hand position really a major issue? Is it just a question of lack of experience? What the hell is this rash on the back of my leg? Etc. Etc.
Just to put out what I myself have observed so far with Domonic's swing and the possible problems that may hold him back until they're fixed or he makes the adjustments to compensate for them.
- Hand position - They are higher than most players and I imagine that the movement of the hands down into the swing plane is just an added hitch that would delay barrelling up the ball on inside pitches. I don't think this would be problem if he had a different kind of swing (discussed later). Harold Reynolds had a piece on the MLB Network in January (its online somewhere) talking abou Dom's hand position and comparing it to other player who had success with holding their hands higher. His argument was that as long as Dom could get his hands in a proper position as he was striding into his swing, it shouldn't be a problem. He compared Dom's swing with Dave Parker and Daryl Strawberry and I will admit they did have higher hand positioning than most. However, they had something else that Domonic doesn't appear to have (besides experience against big-league pitchers and a fondness for Bolivian marching powder). That is, a much shorter swing and much better balance.
- His swing- Dom seems to have a very long pull-heavy swing. I don't know that its neccesarily a problem, but the extra time it takes for his swing to coming through the hitting plane also seems to be throwing off his balance. On many of his swings, his weight is already on his front front when he brings the bat through the strike zone and he's so off-balance that he can't generate any power with his lower body. Result: Weak popup off the end of the bat or two bouncer to the pitcher. The fact that he has to drop his hands to bring them into a level plane with the strike zone is just another superflous movement in an already long motion.
Now question/discussion time:
- Why the hell do I care about any of this? Unanswerable to anyone other than top men. Top. Men. So lets move on.
- Are my above observations at all accurate?
- Is a better recognizition of the strike zone coming from experience of regular big league at-bats sufficient to correct any swing issues Dom may be having?
- Would shortening his swing, whether by choking up on the bat Polanco style or just looking to shoot the bal into left field more, benefit him long term. It wouldn't have to be a permanent change in style but would a season of looking for singles instead 450 foot homeruns, help or hinder him long term?
- If he does alter his swing, would he better served tinkering with it in the minors where he has already demonstrated excellence or can he manage to do it up in the majors?
Now. Ready. Discuss!