Yesterday, Evan Longoria hit his second home run of the spring. And while watching the replay, we got a sense that there was something different. We couldn’t quite put our finger on it. After all, on the surface it looks the same, but there was definitely something unfamiliar.

So we went to the tape. Here’s a look at yesterday’s home run as well as an at bat from last year’s playoffs. In both cases, the pitch was a fastball* from a left-handed pitcher. Also, both GIFs are synced to the moment of contact…

Did you see it? OK, let’s look at a couple of key points.

Here is Frame 4…

Notice that the back knee on the left (2012) is slightly bent as opposed to the right (2011) where it is completely straight. Also notice where the hands are. On the right (2011) they are almost above the head. Longoria wiggles his bat a little bit, but when the hands were higher, it tended to leave the bat pointing towards the ground more often.

Here is Frame 13…

We are now 24 frames before the moment of contact. Notice on the right (2011) the bat is still above the head. But more importantly, look at the left heal (front foot). On the left (2012), it is already off the ground and the swing has started. On the right he is still flat-footed. In fact, on the right, the left heal doesn’t leave the ground for 11 more frames!

Here is Frame 24…

The left heal on the right (2011) is just now coming off the ground. Remember, in both, the bat will meet the ball at frame 37. In other words, Longoria’s swing is far less rushed this year. Also notice the position of the bat. On the left (2012) the bat is in ready position while the bat on the right (2011) is still pointing towards the ground and has a long ways to go before getting to ready position and then through the zone.

Now here’s frame 30…

Now at frame 30 the two swings are once again in sync with the left toes touching down. But there are still differences. Notice the lead shoulder on the left (2012) is turned in a little more and the left knee is pointing a little more towards the catcher. This is giving Longo more coil before releasing the swing, which will give him more rotation from the hips, which will generate more bat speed, which will create MORE POWER. Also notice that the hands are in closer to the body. This will help Longoria attack inside pitches better.

So, what did we learn? Longoria is not only healthy this year, but he has a better swing that should generate more power. Get giddy people. Get giddy.

[Ed. Note: In case you were wondering, we did look at a few swings from both 2011 and 2012 and the general pattern holds. In 2011, it took 11-13 frames to go from starting the swing to contact. This year it is closer to 22-23.]

*Actually, the pitch in 2011 was labeled a sinker. But in reality, it was just a 96 mph two-seem fastball that has sinking movement at the end, which is why Longoria is fooled a bit.

 
 

7 Comments

  1. Rg8r says:

    So, who is to “blame” for this improvement. Can’t possibly be DS, according to the “pundits”.

  2. Don says:

    Watch Longorias HEAD in both swings see if you can tell the difference? which swing was a HR? can you tell? where his head at impact?, wheres it after the ball is gone? Now you got it..
    Exactly Bj Uptons problem..could be corrected in 15 min. with a good instructor

  3. Dave L says:

    i applaud the effort at compiling the videos, but a batter grooving a fat homer is always going to look more tight and effortless than a batter lunging at a sinker he adjusted mid swing to reach for. The older shot was actually quite impressive as he apparently fouled it off.

    Don Im sure Bj’s head looks fine in his home run strokes as well

    • Don says:

      Bj’s head always looks fine on HR’s…. watch him on those 200 strike outs..that is what he and the coaches ought be working on…. its easy my 7th grade coach showed me how to do it…

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