Originally Posted by mace
For what it's worth, Chris Welsh said the same thing. (Or was it Brantley? Sorry, I'm not sure.) Said he'd have to cut down his swing if he's going to hit major-league pitching.
Maybe he did use a different swing, but if so, I never saw the real one. So I certainly can't evaluate him on something I can only imagine. Meanwhile, the hitch was not an insignificant little thing. At the start of each swing, he'd pull the bat straight up in a way that made me think he'd never get around on the ball and would never be able to adjust to off-speed pitches. To his credit, he did get around on a few. But, to me, it was a simple case that his swing did not inspire confidence. That said, I'm not a hitting coach, so my eyes certainly aren't definitive. But, watching him hit, I simply didn't have the impression that he is on track to be a difference-making first baseman in the National League.
Look, I'm not dissing the guy as a prospect. By most informed accounts, he's an impressive hitter. It's just that, by following his minor-league performance and watching him for a short while in the majors, I have enough reservations that I can't put him ahead of a lights-out prospect like Yorman Rodriguez. Or, for that matter, Hamilton or Cozart or even Francisco.
A hitch isn't always a bad thing. While it's something scouts will write up in their reports, and it's something analysts will spend countless times criticizing, there are guys that can pull it off successfully if they have the necessary bat speed. A hitch is usually a timing mechanism, and while it can most definitely expose a hitter to greater velocity, or even cause more weak pop-ups, it also generates more power in many cases.
I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about a hitch. Some guys needed that kind of thing adjusted. Others can pull it off. Barry Bonds had a hitch and look how good (steroids or not) he was. It might not be insignificant, but it also might be nothing at all.