When a Hall of Fame hitter speaks, it’s worth a Repeat!
Right before today’s afternoon game, one of the greatest hitters of our time, Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, long-time Chicago White Sox 1b/DH, was discussing Atlanta Braves Jason Heyward‘s 5-tool approach to the game on Fox Sports 1. Thomas really focused on Heyward’s struggles at the plate because of the other 4 tools being already fully-developed. Here’s what he had to say:
I’ve been intrigued by this guy ever since he’s come up. I think he’s a 5-tool superstar. He’s fulfilled it on defense, fulfilled it on the basepaths, with his arm, but not so much with his bat and I’m going to tell you why. I think, the big guy, the first thing you see with him he’s fighing against a 6’6 frame. First thing I’d do is move his hands up, get out of that crouch a little bit, and let his body naturally work. For me, this guy, if he keeps it simple, try to take it downhill with his approach, you’re going to see the best out of this guy. I really believe he could be a 35-40 HR guy overnight if he could make these simple little adjustments. I equate it to being a puncher as a boxer. As a 6’6 boxer, you don’t want to punch here (gut), you want to punch them up top, downhill..
This makes sense…on paper. If Jason were to get out of his crouch, it would create a natural downward plane on his swing which, in turn, would create back spin on the ball causing more DINGERS! Obviously, easier said than done as Heyward has essentially had the same approach at the plate since entering the league, maybe his entire baseball life. Hopefully we’ll see Jason fully become that 5-tool star we all know he can….and will be.