Let me start off by saying that I’ve had little coaching experience and other than teammates and little leaguers, I’ve never given lessons. I did play college baseball and have always been around great talented ball players. Also, I do watch a lot of baseball especially the Atlanta Braves.
Jason Heyward has been a favorite of mine since I saw him play in the minor leagues and have cheered for him every step of the way. After watching the start of the 2013 season and seeing Heyward’s swing, I tried to mimic Heyward’s batting approach/swing (I still play in an adult baseball league). I began bending my knees, keeping the hands in, bat tight, shoulder up and closed stance. But, I struggled and couldn’t stay consistent at the plate…so I was able to admit that I had a problem and made a change.
I’ve been watching Heyward’s swing now for a while (as I’m sure many have) but I believe I’ve picked up on something from his 2012 swing to his 2013 swing.
Let’s take a look at his swing…here is Heyward before the pitcher has gone in his wideup. He’s standing with his front foot cocked out a little, hands are up and looks like a good stance.
Here is as the pitcher is getting ready to throw…same position without much movement (still has some but not a lot)
Now, as the pitcher is in his delivery, Heyward has rocked back, his hands are still away from his body and he’s still open wide a little.
When the ball is being delivered, Heyward’s got a kick up to the plate, his hands are still away from his body but drifting back to get power. And yes, he hits a bomb on this shot…swing looks great! Now let’s look at 2013
Here is Heyward in 2013, he’s got a closed stance now with his hands a bit lower and his back looks stiffer and straight up.
Now into the pitch, he’s started to bring his hands closer to his chest with lots of movement with his hands
Here you can see how closed he is with his front foot and his hands are real tight to his body
After the pitch his throw, he’s lunging to the pitch with his front foot almost touching the plate. His hands look like they are far back and will drag across as he hits a ground ball out.
I could give more examples of this but you can just watch the games to see. Below is a link for a few 2012 highlights so that you can reference his 2012 season.
Let me know your thoughts on this and if I’ve picked up on something…he does have four hits in the past two days so maybe he found something as well, I guess all we can do is hope!