The Braves abysmal offense last season should be attributed to two things more than anything else:
- Larry Parrish
Both of those things have been fixed now (although injuries can always happen) and it looks like Greg Walker and Scott Fletcher have already made a huge impact on our offense in the form of Jason Heyward‘s swing. DOB has a post on Heyward’s swing, Hanson’s shoulder, and Braun’s MVP but the biggest thing I got out of the article was the part talking about how “Walk and Fletch” have dynamically changed the hitting coach(s) position.
Jason’s hitting mechanics, Chipper Jones, and more after the break…
Greg Walker is the primary hitting coach and Fletcher is the assistant.
Walker is the primary hitting coach, Fletcher is his assistant and will also spend plenty of his working day handling advance scouting, which the Braves are doing by video now instead of sending a scout on the road to do it.
I don’t see how this would be a bad idea unless Fletcher and Walker aren’t on the same page about things. So far it looks like it has been working well as Chipper Jones has approved of them, and the three of them have brought Heyward and his swing back up to 90%. They still have three weeks to work before full team workouts and hopefully by then, we can get to 100% with Jason.
With Chipper’s interview we also got some insight into what exactly was wrong with Heyward’s swing last year. It had to do with his wrists, but the injured shoulder still probably led to the change in mechanics. According to Chipper, Jason didn’t snap his wrists through the ball as well as he did in 2010. It makes sense that he hit as bad as he did then, because that snap is one of the most important (if not the most important) part of your swing. He was also getting out on his front foot a bit more.
According to Chipper, Heyward’s wrists aren’t all the way back, but they have him hitting the ball square.
You really should give the article a read for all the details. It is extremely informative and should give us all hope for the offense in 2012. It also shows us that Chipper really could make a fantastic hitting coach (but who didn’t know that already?) and Jason and him are on good terms even after Chip called him out last year. It’s good to see all of this happening because a 2010 Jason Heyward in 2012 would do wonders for our offense and make it that much easier to get into the playoffs.