Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Evolving Batting Stance of David Wright

There are players throughout baseball history with signature batting stances. Off the top of my head I think of Darryl Strawberry, Julio Franco, Gary Sheffield, Keith Hernandez, and Dave Magadan are few from recent Mets memory that I can think of. These hitters had a stance that you could imitate because they did the same thing every time.

Most of the names mentioned were pretty good hitters. None hit like Gwynn for their entire career, but they weren't slackers. But something has recently changed in baseball philosophy where it's now acceptable for hitters to tinker with their swing.

Maybe this has always gone on but I find it hard to believe that Tony Gwynn, Todd Helton or Paul Molitor messed with their batting stance as drastically as player do today.

Look at this picture below which was brilliantly put together by Rich Macleod and tweeted out this afternoon. This isn't tinkering. This is an evolution. Did Jordan change his shooting form from year to year? Does Peyton Manning tinker with his mechanics this much?

Maybe the ends justify the means. Wright was hitting .355 earlier this year and is still in the top 10 in batting average. It still makes me scratch my head that a guy who's now a seasoned veteran would be messing with his approach to the plate this much over the course of several years.

Photo credit to Rich Macleod

1 comment:

NJMetFan said...

Wright's batting stance in 2009 and 2010 look the same, but in 2009 Wright hit 10 home runs and in 2010 Wright hit 29. So the batting stance probably doesn't make a huge difference.