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OnBaseMachine
03-28-2007, 07:07 PM
Dunn having good spring
Slugger credits hitting coach

By Josh Katzowitz
Post staff reporter

Adam Dunn is happy to be working with his favorite hitting instructor Brook Jacoby.

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Without hesitation and without prompting, Adam Dunn says Brook Jacoby was and is the best hitting coach he ever had. They worked together in Class AAA Louisville where Dunn hit .320 with 20 home runs in 210 at-bats, and Dunn says Jacoby is the reason he made the big leagues.

Dunn trusts Jacoby, because Dunn thinks Jacoby can get the best out of him.

When Dunn ended last season with a .234 batting average and 194 strikeouts - both were the second-worst marks of his career - the Reds left fielder knew he needed help. He could see on videotape what he was doing wrong, but he couldn't quite figure out how to fix it. Enter Jacoby, who was hired as Cincinnati's hitting coach in November and who traveled to Texas this winter to visit with Dunn for a few days.

The reason for the stopover, Dunn said Tuesday, was pretty simple.

"We just hit," Dunn said. "And, uh, pretty much just hit."

It was what Dunn needed after the final two months of last season when he batted .174 with 75 strikeouts. He doesn't want to talk about those dark days, but he wanted Jacoby's help.

They hit, Jacoby adjusted Dunn's mechanics, they hit and Jacoby adjusted Dunn's mechanics some more. No big changes, though. Just little tweaks here and there.

"I don't know, I'm just trying to see some pitches, and when I do swing, I just try to stay though the middle instead of trying to pull out," Dunn said. "It really hasn't changed a whole lot. It's a lot of little stuff. He was showing me some stuff to work on before I got to spring. I didn't want to take those bad habits going into spring. It was starting over."

The statistics tell you that Jacoby's intervention, so far, has been successful. Dunn, it seems, has reinvented himself.

Following Cincinnati's 6-2 loss to the Phillies on Tuesday at Bright House Networks Field, Dunn is hitting .383 with four home runs and 12 RBIs. He's not necessarily trying to see how far he can hit the ball down the right field line. He's trying to do more than that now.

"All spring, he's hit extremely well," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "He hasn't been trying to hit home runs. He's been trying to make good, solid contact. Mechanically, he's made some slight differences. I'm sure the longer Brook works with him, the better both of them will be together and the better (Dunn) will be."

Which doesn't mean Dunn has changed his approach at the plate. Even if teams continue to shift the defense to the right side of the field - Dunn said Tuesday such a shift should be illegal, and it wasn't clear whether he was kidding - he's not going to change his swing and mess with his mechanics.

"I'm not going to try to hit the ball the other way," Dunn said. "That's not what I'm here for. That's not what I do. But if a pitch needs to go that way, I want to be able to do it instead of rolling it over to second base."

Whatever he and Jacoby have done, it's working. Dunn said his favorite hitting coach is a big reason for that.

"He's the best hitting coach I've ever had," Dunn said. "He's the one who got me up here. I have to trust him. He's what got me to the big leagues. I definitely have all the confidence in the world in him."

http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070328/SPT05/703280330/1027

Mutaman
03-28-2007, 08:09 PM
Does a good spring make up for a miserable September?

GAC
03-28-2007, 08:13 PM
Does a good spring make up for a miserable September?

You can't change the past. Nor can you dwell on it. But you can learn from it and grow.

Turning Adam Dunn into basically a dead pull hitter was a mistake IMO. That may be his "strength", but pitchers can find ways to "neutralize" and take advantage of a hitter whose focus is so narrow. That doesn't mean that Dunn can be a hitter like a Rose-Carew-Gywnn type, spraying the ball all over the field; but he can also learn to adjust, go with pitches, and use all fields more. IMO, last year, Dunn was always looking for a particular pitch in his "zone". The problem? Pitchers knew that was his zone too, and weren't gonna give it to him.

One of the things I always admired about Adam was his batting eye and plate discipline. But I think he took the plate discipline aspect too far, meaning, he was he taking strikes (good pitches) because they weren't the pitch he was wanting/looking for. Being too selective also put him behind in the count alot, and at a pitcher's mercy. Just my observation. But I'm no Jacoby. ;)

creek14
03-28-2007, 08:14 PM
Does a good spring make up for a miserable September?

And I thought I was pessimistic.

http://www.quick.org.uk/graphics/halfempty.gif

CTA513
03-28-2007, 09:12 PM
Does a good spring make up for a miserable September?

Nope and Dunn wasnt the only one who had a miserable September/October.

Dunn: .157
Griffey: .071
Encarnacion: .214
Freel: .208
Phillips: .149
Ross: .185
Hatteberg: .206

reds44
03-28-2007, 09:39 PM
Nope and Dunn wasnt the only one who had a miserable September/October.

Dunn: .157
Griffey: .071
Encarnacion: .214
Freel: .208
Phillips: .149
Ross: .185
Hatteberg: .206
What happend to everyone in September? It's really amazing when you look at it.

fisch11
03-28-2007, 10:57 PM
I think Brandon's first full year caused him to struggle down the stretch. Can't quite make that same argument for EE though, since he didn't get as many AB's....as he should have! Hatty was hot most of the year so his drop wasn't too surprising.

Ron Madden
03-29-2007, 03:47 AM
Dunn is having a good spring.

Odds are he will have a good season as well. With all of his faults Adam has been very productive so far.

We in Reds Country have a history of undervaluing some of our best players.
Frank Robinson, Eric Davis, Adam Dunn. They aint perfect but they aint bad eighther. ;)

GAC
03-29-2007, 08:15 AM
Dunn is having a good spring.

Odds are he will have a good season as well. With all of his faults Adam has been very productive so far.

We in Reds Country have a history of undervaluing some of our best players.
Frank Robinson, Eric Davis, Adam Dunn. They aint perfect but they aint bad eighther. ;)

We also have a history of overvaluing them to. Especially when it comes to trading them away, and what we should get in return. ;)

Ron Madden
03-30-2007, 04:18 AM
We also have a history of overvaluing them to. Especially when it comes to trading them away, and what we should get in return. ;)

Maybe so, maybe not. ;) :beerme:

membengal
03-30-2007, 06:44 AM
I think Brandon's first full year caused him to struggle down the stretch. Can't quite make that same argument for EE though, since he didn't get as many AB's....as he should have! Hatty was hot most of the year so his drop wasn't too surprising.

Why are you knocking EE? Looking at that list, he was fiery hot in September...

Perhaps they were all distracted with managing their fantasy football rosters...

GAC
04-07-2007, 06:46 AM
Why are you knocking EE? Looking at that list, he was fiery hot in September...

Perhaps they were all distracted with managing their fantasy football rosters...

Edwin's September numbers....


Month AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
September 84 9 18 3 0 1 5 10 1 16 5 0 .214 .299 .286 .585

membengal
04-07-2007, 06:33 PM
Yes GAC. My sentence was sarcasm. SARCASM. Because EE's numbers only look FIERY HOT when looking at that list if you compare it to the rest of the DREADFUL numbers the Reds put up in September.

Sarcasm. Catch the wind.

TC81190
04-07-2007, 11:56 PM
Yes GAC. My sentence was sarcasm. SARCASM. Because EE's numbers only look FIERY HOT when looking at that list if you compare it to the rest of the DREADFUL numbers the Reds put up in September.

Sarcasm. Catch the wind.

I'll have to admit that one slipped me as well.

membengal
04-08-2007, 08:26 AM
I'll have to admit that one slipped me as well.

The fantasy football roster management line I had wasn't a giveaway?

Noted. No more sarcasm from me...until I do.

Cooper
04-09-2007, 02:53 PM
Does anyone notice anything different in the way Dunn holds his bat when he's in his stance? It looks like his hands are held higher ....and when he does swing it looks as if he's not dropping his hands as far down as he used to.

I'm not a hitting expert nor do i pretend to be, but wouldn't the new approach change his swing plane? Maybe it's hindsight 20-20 stuff, but to me it looks like he doesn't have s much of hitch as he had before. Does anyone have the capability to compare side by side stances? Does anyone care:)

pedro
04-09-2007, 03:00 PM
Does anyone notice anything different in the way Dunn holds his bat when he's in his stance? It looks like his hands are held higher ....and when he does swing it looks as if he's not dropping his hands as far down as he used to.

I'm not a hitting expert nor do i pretend to be, but wouldn't the new approach change his swing plane? Maybe it's hindsight 20-20 stuff, but to me it looks like he doesn't have s much of hitch as he had before. Does anyone have the capability to compare side by side stances? Does anyone care:)

he's not wrapping the bat back behind is head and he is holding it a bit higher.

TeamBoone
04-09-2007, 04:16 PM
On a pregame interview, he said he's changed something that he does with his elbow; I can't remember his exact words.

Razor Shines
04-09-2007, 08:40 PM
Does anyone notice anything different in the way Dunn holds his bat when he's in his stance? It looks like his hands are held higher ....and when he does swing it looks as if he's not dropping his hands as far down as he used to.

I'm not a hitting expert nor do i pretend to be, but wouldn't the new approach change his swing plane? Maybe it's hindsight 20-20 stuff, but to me it looks like he doesn't have s much of hitch as he had before. Does anyone have the capability to compare side by side stances? Does anyone care:)

Yes, I agree that he's holding it higher and like pedro said he's not got it wrapped as much, which leads to a slightly shorter swing.

There is a lot of talk of Dunn going the other way, which really isn't happening that much. But it seems like people think it is just because he's hitting well right now. I think hitting the ball the other way is overrated in Dunn's case (and Griffey's for that matter). It's much more important to drive the ball where it's pitched. And he is driving it to left when he gets the chance, but I think for most of his career he has. If he was trying to pull everything, even outside pitches, then I think there would be a problem. The way he gets pitched most of the good pitches he sees are on the inner half, so I have no problem with him getting most of his hits to the right side.

IMHO the two things that Dunn is doing different this year are: 1. He's being slightly more aggressive, which right now looks like it's a good thing, but it may end up hurting him if he gets in a slump and becomes even more aggressive. 2. He's shortened his swing slightly. I've noticed it especially with 2 strikes and IMO that's always a good thing.