Giancarlo Stanton Talks Hitting | FanGraphs Baseball


Giancarlo Stanton
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports activities

Giancarlo Stanton is a prolific slugger experiencing a irritating season. A hamstring pressure saved him out of the Yankees’ lineup from mid-April to early June, and he’s scuffled mightily since returning to motion. Over 47 plate appearances this month, the 6-foot-4, 245-pound outfielder/DH is 5-for-41 with a pair of residence runs and 15 strikeouts. On the yr, he’s slashing .204/.267/.441 with a 91 wRC+ — properly beneath his requirements.

No stranger to the injured record, having landed on it a number of occasions since New York acquired him from the Miami Marlins by way of commerce in December 2017, Stanton has principally been glorious when wholesome. Now 33 years outdated and in his 14th huge league season, he has 384 profession residence runs, together with 59 in 2017, to go along with a .535 slugging share and a 139 wRC+.

Stanton talked about his evolution as a hitter, which incorporates now not taking swings in the dead of night, when the Yankees visited Fenway Park over the weekend.


David Laurila: [Toronto Blue Jays hitting coach] Hunter Mense instructed me that if you have been Low-A teammates, he walked into an indoor cage and located you hitting with the lights off. Why have been you doing that?

Giancarlo Stanton: “Dim lights, yeah. It was about making an attempt to select up the ball. My issue again then was choosing up balls and chasing. It’s at all times a piece in progress. I nonetheless get in bother up right here. You by no means fully remove your authentic mishaps; you may simply get higher and enhance on them. However yeah, what I used to be doing was sort of discovering obstacles.”

Laurila: Do you do something like that now?

Stanton: “No. I don’t do something that excessive anymore, however I did do a whole lot of excessive stuff to get right here. I put it in my thoughts that somebody is at all times working more durable, and there have been issues I wanted to get higher at. With a lot failure on this sport, there are at all times methods to enhance.”

Laurila: Mense additionally stated you have been one of many first guys he noticed doing high-velocity coaching; you’d need the pitching machine dialed up actually excessive.

Stanton: “One of many hardest issues to do in sports activities, if not the toughest, is to hit a baseball. And it’s additionally the hardest to reenact a reside sport. I’d see guys take flips after which exit and attempt to hit reside. I couldn’t perceive how they might try this. I wished to get extra reasonable pitches.”

Laurila: I assume that’s one thing you’ve continued to do?

Stanton: “Oh yeah. That’s a should.”

Laurila: Was that originally self-driven, or prompted by a coach?

Stanton: “I simply realized you can cheat a bit of bit in BP, however at 50 mph or on flips, my swing wasn’t as tight. I may get away with residence runs or line drives, no matter, however that doesn’t correlate right into a sport with out excessive velocity.”

Laurila: How stringent are you with pregame routines?

Stanton: “There are some things which can be the identical each day, and there are a pair that I modify relying on the pitcher or how I’m feeling. If I’ve been pulling off balls, or not staying down… it simply relies upon. One of many issues I’m at all times counteracting is pulling off the ball. I get a superb pitch to hit and over-swing or get round it. That’s why I’ve closed my stance a bit of extra, to get a extra direct, locked-in route to the ball, and be to the larger a part of the sphere.”

Laurila: When did you start closing your stance?

Stanton: “I’ve closed it slowly over time. That’s from pitchers throwing more durable and having higher arsenals. They’ve extra [velocity] and pitches to remain constant on and keep balanced on.”

Laurila: Have you ever at all times recognized as an influence hitter?

Stanton: “I’d say that’s at all times the large ticket. I do know that I’ve a whole lot of energy. So it’s about being ‘a hitter’ versus having the ability to simply produce energy or nothing.”

Laurila: You talked about over-swinging. Watching you the previous few days, I’ve seen some fairly huge cuts. Along with your power, you clearly don’t swing onerous to hit the ball 450 ft.

Stanton: “Yeah. Effort stage is vital for contact administration and accuracy. You’ve received to have an under-control repetitive swing. I’d say it was once a lot more durable. It was once, principally, as onerous as I can, each swing. I in all probability began [toning that down] three or 4 years into the large leagues.”

Laurila: Would you name your self a hitting nerd, or do you attempt to simplify issues as a lot as doable?

Stanton: “I like a whole lot of data and attempt to filter out what I want from all of the cutting-edge issues that… there’s at all times one thing new, some new data, due to the evolution of the sport. I prefer to maintain tabs on that, however I like to stick with my basis, too.”

Laurila: Are you able to give an instance of data you’ve discovered to be useful?

Stanton: “I prefer to see how a lot the ball is shifting, particularly from every arm angle. Some pitchers have an phantasm that it’s not shifting as a lot as it’s, relying in the event that they’re on the primary base aspect or the third base aspect of the rubber. Having an thought of how a lot it’s shifting, particularly if I haven’t seen the pitcher earlier than, provides me a bit of extra data in what may be a giant spot.”

Laurila: How do you go about utilizing that to your benefit?

Stanton: “If he has a whole lot of journey, you’ve received to set your sights decrease. If he’s received a whole lot of sink, you’ve received to push him up. So lots relies upon what the 2 greatest pitches in his arsenal are and what he’s most probably going to do to me. Then I set my sights.”

Laurila: Joey Votto not too long ago instructed me that he’s by no means been all that involved with who’s the mound, preferring as an alternative to deal with his personal swing and strategy.

Stanton: “Yeah, you don’t need to be fluctuating an excessive amount of relying on the pitcher. You’ve received to have a plan for what you need, and if he does one thing totally different, if he spots up some other place, then you definately simply tip your cap. You’ve received to belief your strategy and your sights so that you simply’re not bouncing in all places like, ‘Oh, I used to be trying right here, however he did that, oh, what if he does that once more?’ You may’t have a bunch of what-ifs if you’re on the plate. The sport is just too quick.”

Laurila: You performed for Don Mattingly in Miami. What did you be taught from him?

Stanton: “Have a easy strategy. Get a superb pitch to hit. Effort stage as properly; you don’t should swing as onerous as you may to place a superb barrel on it, particularly with how onerous they’re throwing now. That and principally to be on time.”

Laurila: Fairly easy stuff, sort of Hitting 101.

Stanton: “Sure.”

Laurila: Any remaining ideas on hitting? Is there something vital that we haven’t touched on?

Stanton: “I attempt to create backspin by staying contained in the ball. I attempt to verify I can get my barrel contained in the ball to strike. That’s how I create my backspin. I determine my swing is a bit of outdated for what they train lately, like an up-shoot swing. My setup is exclusive its personal, however I imply, pure route, I attempt to strike down and on the within of the ball to create backspin.”

Laurila: Really, yet another query: Is hitting enjoyable?

Stanton: “I’d say that determining the puzzle of hitting each day is a enjoyable grind. It can drive you loopy generally, however that’s a part of it. Everybody goes via this grind — the ups and downs, the difficulties of hitting — so it’s about discovering your calm in essentially the most irritating of occasions. You could discover the route out of these occasions, and being mad, yelling and screaming, isn’t going assist you enhance your errors. All you are able to do is go within the lab and deal with the issues that may assist you enhance. All you are able to do is push ahead.”


Earlier “Talks Hitting” interviews can discovered via these hyperlinks: Jo Adell, Jeff Albert, Greg Allen, Nolan Arenado, Aaron Bates, Alex Bregman, Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, JJ Bleday, Bobby Bradley, Will Brennan, Jay Bruce, Matt Chapman, Michael Chavis, Gavin Cross, Jacob Cruz, Nelson Cruz, Paul DeJong, Josh Donaldson, Brendan Donovan, Donnie Ecker, Rick Eckstein, Drew Ferguson, Justin Foscue, Michael Fransoso, Ryan Fuller, Joey Gallo, Paul Goldschmidt, Devlin Granberg, Andy Haines, Mitch Haniger, Robert Hassell III, Nico Hoerner, Rhys Hoskins, Eric Hosmer, Tim Hyers, Connor Joe, Josh Jung, Jimmy Kerr, Heston Kjerstad, Steven Kwan, Trevor Larnach, Doug Latta, Evan Longoria, Michael Lorenzen, Gavin Lux, Dave Magadan, Trey Mancini, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Hunter Mense, Owen Miller, Ryan Mountcastle, Cedric Mullins, Daniel Murphy, Lars Nootbaar, Logan O’Hoppe, Vinnie Pasquantino, Luke Raley, Brent Rooker, Drew Saylor, Spencer Steer, Trevor Story, Fernando Tatis Jr., Spencer Torkelson, Mark Trumbo, Justin Turner, Trea Turner, Josh VanMeter, Robert Van Scoyoc, Chris Valaika, Zac Veen, Alex Verdugo, Mark Vientos, Matt Vierling, Luke Voit, Anthony Volpe, Joey Votto, Christian Walker, Jared Walsh, Jordan Westburg, Jesse Winker, Mike Yastrzemski, Nick Yorke, Kevin Youkilis


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