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« Trevor Cahill's Sinker: Luck or Skill? | Main | Diminishing Distance »

Inside Jeter

Derek Jeter and Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long dicusssed the changes the shortstop made to his swing for this season.  Long taught Jeter to shorten his stride so he could better handle inside pitches.

What exactly are you changing?

The issue with the stride foot is when it crosses over and goes this way (toward the plate) and the ball is coming inside, you don’t have a path to get to that pitch. Now, let’s say a cutter from (Jon) Lester is coming in at 93 mph. You’re going to try to do what Jeter does best, which is stay inside of it. So he’s going to try to do this (keep his hands and body inside) and try to stay into it. You can’t do it (when you cross over). Now, by staying square and going up on his toe and going to here (mimics the beginning of an inside swing) he’s creating an avenue for his hips to get through and to become square to the baseball.

Looking at various heat maps, you can best see what Long is talking about in a comparison of 2009 and 2010 foul balls.

Derek Jeter foul balls 2009.So in 2009, Jeter fouled off pitches away from him.

Derek Jeter foul balls 2010.In 2010, that zone for fouling pitches moved inside.  If Long's plan works, we should see most of his fouls move back outside.

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