Starts closed with hands at his letters. Big step/stride without a leg lift, hands go up and back, stays closed. Load often starts late leading to late trigger—has to rush swing causing late hands. This is most likely also a product of diminishing bat speed. For the first half of the season seemed to “hit from his heels"—slow bat, very little leverage, limited his ability to drive the baseball; only able to drive pitches in the down and in quadrant of the zone. Showed some adjustments in the second half of the 2013 season. Produces good torque and leverage, especially on pitches in his bat path (down and in). Trouble reaching pitches on the outer half of the plate or upper part of the zone. Spins off, doesn’t stay in the zone very long.
Good eye at the plate, especially on pitches down. Rarely swings at pitches in the dirt or off the edges. Will chase elevated fastballs up out of the zone. Will take big hacks when ahead in the count, but not the most controlled or consistent swings. Wants to pull the baseball but has to cheat to get there on time. Barely ever hits the ball to the left side, and does not consistently show the ability to drive the ball the other way.
Beloved by Twins fans, Morneau seems to have a reputation as a hard-working “good guy.” The common narrative surrounding Morneau is his rebound from a concussion sustained in 2010. Pre-concussion he was an MVP winner, four-time All-Star and future of the Twins organization. Post-concussion he has battled to stay on the field and find his former production. Played 152 games in 2013, 25 with the Pirates.
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