FanPost

Colby's Evolving Batting Stance


I'm not a biomechanical expert by any means (I'm looking at you, thepainguy!), but even I can tell that Colby's changed his stance throughout the year.  In a Joe Strauss article (I know, I know...), dated June 6th, Colby acknowledged that he'd been working with his father on his swing by leaning more towards the plate and modifying the leg kick.  He explained the reasoning: "I wasn't swinging at that many bad pitches, but those pitches that were coming over the plate, I was missing them. Then they would make a good pitch and strike me out...Today, I hit balls that were over the middle"

If only there was a site, where fans could view stats, possibly in graph form.  Unfortunately, I can't break up the requisite plate discipline statistics by date, but I think overall numbers will do just fine.  Numbers after the jump

"I wasn't swinging at that many bad pitches"

In 2009, Colby's O-Swing%, or percentage of pitches he swung at outside of the strike zone, was 25.6%.  This year it sits at 24.6%.  Hey, Colby's self-aware!  A.D.A.M must be jealous

 

"...those pitches that were coming over the plate, I was missing them"

In 2009, Colby's Z-contact%, or percentage of pitches INSIDE the strike zone he made contact with, was 88.0%.  This year it's 84%.  Correct again!

***

So presumably, Colby and his father worked on a stance that allows him to maintain his strike zone discipline while eliminating some holes in his swing inside the strike zone.  Let's take a look at some links from mlb.com, which is the easiest site in the world to navigate (Baseball-Reference.com is a close 2nd).

4/10: Milwaukee

5/15: Cincinnati

Notice how closed his stance his, how upright he is, and how high is leg kick is

6/12: Arizona (Look how handsome this pitcher is we should trade for him oh wait that's right Mark Mulder =( )

6/22: Toronto

Now notice how much more open his stance is, more crouched, and the smaller leg kick

 

Conclusions?

Well first of all, a lot of the explanations for Colby's recent surge were centered solely on his new contacts, but it very well might be due to this changed stance.  If anybody knows how I can get plate discipline splits by date (specifically Z-contact %), we'd be able to make far better conclusions, but for now, let's leave it at this:

Colby, with all of his Boomhauer-like dilections in speech and self deprecating sense of humor regarding his intellegence, at least has an implicit knowledge of advanced plate-discipline sabermetrics.  That's pretty awesome.

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