Originally Posted by mace
It's one thing to base your opinions on September numbers, which can obviously be misleading. It's another to base them on September observations. On that score, it's certainly conceivable that a young player may deviate from his normal MO in a quick intro to the big leagues, and that could easily account for Alonso's comparative lack of patience with the Reds. But a swing is a swing, isn't it? I'm not so sure that a pronounced hitch is so casually correctable.
But wait a minute. This appraisal of Alonso was not based on anything that happened in September (other than point 7, of course). What his September did was fall short of alleviating these concerns.
As for points 1 and 2: Yes, those drawbacks can be absorbed if a guy is a major producer with the bat--a Prince Fielder type, for instance. But that's what I haven't yet seen out of Alonso.
Did those observations take into account you had a kid in his first 20 at-bats in the Major Leagues trying to overswing and make an impact in a team's playoff chase? As Doug said, getting one at-bat a game, in the midst of a playoff race no less, might cause a young player to get a little over anxious in his first several Major League appearances. I'm not sure that limited sample tells us virtually anything, even physically.
A hitch is always correctable. Even a slight adjustment of the hands an inch higher or lower can make all the difference in the world in a player's swing. And that's assuming there is a "hitch" more than perhaps just an observation that Alonso was swinging too anxiously.
I think it's fair to say the jury is still out on Alonso, but he's shown glimpses this year, especially the second half of the schedule, of being able to hit. Next year will probably be a lot more telling, though it might not be in the Reds' system.