Originally Posted by Chi-Town Red
Let us know how he did please!!
Originally Posted by IslandRed
That's what I remember, too. His ability to make contact was questioned, but it wasn't as stark as "can't hit a decent fastball." He's a good athlete, not weak at all. Have to figure it's something in his swing mechanics.
Ok, I watched Stubbs last night from the 2nd row behind the plate w/ nobody in the front row. I don't think the bat speed is an issue. First inning he jerked a 91mph fastball to LF. Unfortunately it was right at the LF, but it was hit hard and he turned on it pretty quickly. I'm not saying he has the fastest bat in the world, but it's certainly not "slow."
That still leaves "the problem." I see his problem as being two-fold. One, is his swing mechanics. I noticed he was dropping his hands a little at the back of his swing. This made his swing long, and that needs to be corrected ASAP. You can "get by" with minor mechanical flaws in Single A. You're a .180 hitter in AA with the same problem. The other problem I see is more concerning, to me at least. It appeared to me that Stubbs has absolutely no clue as to what pitchers are trying to do to him.
1st AB: First pitch, fastball, taken, ball, outside. Second pitch, fastball, strike, lower outside corner. Third pitch, mistake pitch, fastball, right down broadway. Stubbs turned on it and lined it to the LFer. He swung at the best pitch in the AB.
2nd AB: First pitch, fastball, strike looking, lower outside corner. Second pitch, curveball, middle-in. Third pitch, fastball, strike looking, middle-outside. He looked like he was looking breaking ball all the way and didn't even move when he got a fastball.
3rd AB: First pitch, fastball, strike looking, lower outside corner. Second pitch, foul ball, curve, middle-in. Third pitch, fastball, outside corner, ball (barely missed). Fourth pitch, curveball, middle-in, ground ball out.
This sequence repeated itself over and over again with him basically seeing the same pitches at the same times in each at bat. He went 0-3 with 2 BB's and 1 K in the game and didn't hit the ball hard in any AB. If you look at those 3 AB's above you'll notice that he got basically the same pitches in the same counts, in the same general locations in each AB. If the pitcher would have done that to a smart hitter, the hitter would have been waiting on those pitches starting in the 2nd AB. Stubbs was still just as clueless in the 3rd AB, acting like he wasn't sure which pitch was coming.
So, I don't think it's bat speed so much as it is just general hitting smartness. I'm not sure if they watch video at that level or not, but someone should point it out to him that he saw the same pitches in 3 straight AB's and did nothing with any of the pitches (w/ the exception of the 1st AB line out). That shouldn't happen.
Other thoughts on the game last night:
1) I love Chris Heisey. He's just a grind it out gamer. I'm sure Wayne loves him as well. Chris can absolutely motor around the bases and he's a smart baserunner. Gets good jumps, knows when to risk and when not to, etc. Chris went 4-4 last night. I don't see him having an All-Star ceiling, but I could see him being a fan favorite in the Ryan Freel mold if he gets to the big league team.
2) Juan Francisco. Dear God. He didn't start the game, but came up as a PH in the 9th. Dude has Ryan Howard power and I'm not joking. I was watching Stubbs' bat speed all night and then this kid came up. I can't remember too many players having the bat speed Francisco has. He absolutely crushed a 93 mph fastball on the inside half. It went a good 420 feet. Absolute blast.
3) Justin Turner. Like Heisey, I like Turner. He's not flashy, but he makes plays. He had one AB last night that wasn't a good one, struck out on a check swing on a high fastball and the guy behind me said "It's been awhile since I've seen Turner have a bad AB." I believe that.
4) Valaika. Another good offensive player and he made several good plays at SS. There weren't any balls hit to show me what kind of range he has but he did well charging the ball on a slow chopper and also made a great short hop play and throw going to his glove side. Looked good at the plate as per usual.
5) Jordan Smith. Wasn't that impressed. Maybe it was an off night for him. He can run the fastball up to 94, but mostly sits around 88-89. His slider was hitting the same speed all night, 82. He got behind hitters last night and fed them fastballs that were promptly destroyed.
6) Pedro Viola. This kid has good stuff with movement. He's only hitting low 90's, but his fastball has real good late movement.
7) Mateo and Terrell Young: Both throw very hard, mid 90's, but both throw pretty straight and don't have very good offspeed stuff to keep hitters honest. I'm surprised they don't get hit hard pretty much all the time. Just wait for the fastball and hit it.