POTD Mike Zunino's Swing Mechanics - HIT
A good swing: Necessary but not Sufficient



We sez, Zunino's swing is comparable to David Wright's ... with the key difference being the length.  Here is the launch point of Wright's swing -- check the angle of the bat:

But this rat-cheer is about as far as Zunino goes, in terms of load, that is:

Take a look at the video again and you'll see that Zunino is about as short to the ball as it's reasonable to get.  I mean, sit for a second. Time out.  Now try to imagine an alternative swing, one with less load than that?  Um, no.

It's pretty well dialed down to 1 or 2 on the load meter.  The PWR is coming from a natural, Edgar-like tension between front foot and rear hand, and from physical strength, of course.

Now, in terms of letting the bat fly :- ) ... how hard he swings... you got me there!



Zunino, like Wright and Edgar, naturally angles and arcs his bat on the plane of the pitch, to "keep the bat in the zone a long time."  A few captcha's:

Keep in mind that he was digging out a low-away offspeed pitch.  If there were one pitch you'd finish high on, that would be it, but the kid stayed down through the ball.

MAJOR CAVEAT:  Kyle Seager, and Edgar, and Nick Franklin, have a talent for pulling in the "alligator arms" to stay inside a jam pitch.  That's a big component of the KBIZLT swing - to hit the inside half of the ball.

Zunino does tuck the left elbow really well -- he tucked the elbow even on this low-away pitch.  But does he pull the knob in, when necessary, bending the RIGHT elbow?  I couldn't tell from one game.  Maybe Gordon could answer that question.

Supposing that Zunino lacks the smile-inducing gift that Edgar has, that Seager has, in getting to the jam pitch, he's still got a KBIZLT swing.  But there's the question remaining.



On top of everything else, Zunino is quick - he's in plenty of time to pull the 94 heater, and then he has that Edgar-like hesitation on the offspeed.  You saw it on the base hit, lining a low-away slider up the middle.

Edgar would visibly step forward, read offspeed, keep the hands back, and then unsnap the bat to drive the offspeed with authority.  He was almost never "in between" or out in front.  It was a two-stage swing.  Last night, Zunino did exactly the same.  

The timing was probably my favorite part of the Cirque du Soleil performance out there.


I Know What You're Thinkin'

Um, so what about 200 strikeouts in the PCL?  How does anybody get this guy out?  Well, the swing isn't the whole story.  YOUR baseball swing might be gorgeous.  It doesn't mean you get to play baseball with Blake Beavan.



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