FanDuel - WFBC

October 17, 2006

Jeter's Consistent Adjustments: Derek Jeter is not the guy who jumps out to me as having the "model swing," but it sure is hard to argue with the results. Jeter can hit.

posted by justgary to baseball at 03:37 PM - 12 comments

jg, this is great stuff. Now all I have to do is practice in front of a mirror for a few hours a day, and I can be the next Derek Jeter. (Yeah, right) One of the comments was about Cal Ripken's varying swing. To that list add Carl Yastrzemski. It was said that he changed his swing from pitch-to-pitch at times.

posted by Howard_T at 04:50 PM on October 17

Oh boy, I smell a pro-Jeter, anti-Jeter discussion coming up, and it smells like Thanksgiving Dinner wih all the trimmings! Great post, by the way!

posted by vito90 at 12:25 AM on October 18

Great article, this article shows exactly why Jeter is my favorite ballplayer and I believe one of the best all around players at his position, ever.

posted by texasred at 06:46 AM on October 18

I'm becoming a Jeff Albert fan. His analyses are really compelling, and his hitting theories jibe with mine insomuch as he puts a lot of emphasis on what goes on in the beginning of the swing (stance, footplant, etc.). I have always felt that the moment you step into the batter's box, you have already made some decisions that will effect your ability to get a hit. I'm a little disappointed that Albert decided to specifically analyze Jeter pulling a ball. I think it's much more interesting how consistently Jeter is able to go the other way on almost any pitch -- inside, outside, high, low. Albert touches on the subject in the article, but it would be great if he would do a follow up to analyze that swing using his video clips. Good stuff. Thanks for continuing to post these, Gary, and keep 'em coming.

posted by BullpenPro at 11:24 AM on October 19

I have always felt that the moment you step into the batter's box, you have already made some decisions that will effect your ability to get a hit. Can you expand on that? I only really see the basics of it: how deep you are in the box, how close to the plate, how open the stance, that sort of thing.

posted by yerfatma at 12:32 PM on October 19

Those are certainly all factors. How wide you keep your legs apart dictates how much of a stride you are going to be able to take, which determines how much your head may or may not move vertically during your swing,and consequently how easy it is to keep your eye on the ball. How you distribute your weight on your feet -- toes or heels, front leg or back leg, make a huge difference in the outcome of your swing. This is a big deal for Jeter, who has a pretty pronounced stride, and even more for A-Rod, who has an even bigger leg kick. If you are not properly balanced in preparation for the launch, you are going to have a more difficult time maintaining perfect balance through the stride and the swing. Look at the Jeter clips, and watch his back foot. In the one clip he had to make a weight adjustment when he strode, bringing his back foot off the heel to keep his balance. That could be due to a lot of factors, but the fewer variables you give yourself in the batter's box in terms of comfort and continuity, the better your odds. It could even be as simple as the dirt foundation under your feet being ever-so-slightly graded in one direction or the other, rather than flat. Go to the link for the A-Rod analysis in the post. Albert argues that A-Rod's 2006 problems result from his weight balance and hip movement. I would argue that this is a result of A-Rod's stance this year emphasizing too much weight on his front foot, and that caused one of two things: either his body too move too much in his stride, or he had to hasten getting his plant foot down before he lost his balance. Either way, that's lot of motion to have to focus on. That's why he was too far forward, that's why he was rolling his front foot when he opened his hips, that's why he was more susceptible this year to pitchers who mix speeds well, and that's why I have the impression that his impressive numbers this year are a result of picking on the odd susceptible (read: bad) pitcher rather than spreading his productivity evenly from game to game. On edit: actually, I'm not sure I'm right about Jeter, looking at the clips a second time. I think that back foot adjustment is due to his opening his hips earlier for the fastball. But watching his swing either way, it is easy to see how important his balance is when he steps into the box. There are hundreds of other things that happen when a batter steps into the box, including the mind games between the batter and pitcher in their body language. That mental game is such a huge part of the success or failure of a player. If a pitcher thinks he can scare a player off the plate or fool a hitter who appears too wound up, that's a big advantage. There's a bit of the poker mentality, where you play the player rather than the cards. And that game starts when a hitter approaches the plate.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:02 PM on October 19

By the way, you can tell the other team what you're going to do when you get in the box, too. If a hitter stands further up in the box than usual, expect a bunt. If a right-handed hitter stands a little deeper and back off the plate than usual, look for a drag bunt to the first base side. That sort of thing. You can pretty much always tell what a pitcher is going to do by where they stand in the box. Look for it in tonight's game.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:19 PM on October 19

That's good stuff, BPP. It's great that we have our very own resident baseball expert right here on SpoFi.

posted by willthrill72 at 02:47 PM on October 19

It's great that we have our very own resident baseball expert right here on SpoFi. I agree. And I am happy to supplement his wisdom where I can.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:57 PM on October 19

I agree. And I am happy to supplement his wisdom where I can. By far the best line i've read all week.

posted by Folkways at 03:48 PM on October 19

I agree. And I am happy to supplement his wisdom where I can. By far the best line i've read all week. posted by Folkways at 3:48 PM CDT on October 19 While I am fond of its merits, I gotta go with this bon mot, from the Distinguished Gentleman from the Granite State: Calling alcoholism a disease is just an attempt to make people feel sorry for idiots. Have that stitched onto a throw pillow. It'll really spruce up the compound. posted by yerfatma at 12:29 PM CDT on October 19

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:12 PM on October 20

TBH, I'd say you win, scoring by font styles. That sucker is a throw pillow all its own.

posted by BullpenPro at 05:41 PM on October 20

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