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).
Notice how closed his stance his, how upright he is, and how high is leg kick is
Now notice how much more open his stance is, more crouched, and the smaller leg kick
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.