CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

World Series time! Enjoy Premium-level access to most features through the end of the Series!

Ryan Parker 

Search Articles by Ryan Parker

All Blogs (including podcasts)

Active Columns

Authors

Article Types

Archives
<< Previous Author Entries No More Author Entries

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

October 10, 2014 10:23 am

Going Yard: Cage Work

6

Ryan Parker

Our resident hitting coach gives us the details on what type of work hitters should do in the cage, both physically and mentally.

I love my job. When I’m not writing for Baseball Prospectus or at the ballpark in standard issue jeans, polo shirt, and Accusplit, you can find me in a batting cage. Specifically cage four of the facility I’m lucky enough to work at ECBA (cage 4 is the one closest to the fans— got to stay cool). First thing you’d notice is that I’m probably already hitting off a tee. No you’re not late, but hitting off a tee is my yoga and has kept my sanity intact. Whenever I start working with hitters I have them run through a quick stretch then get about 10-20 practice swings off the tee.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

September 26, 2014 6:00 am

Going Yard: How Jose Altuve Got His Groove

6

Ryan Parker

A relatively minor fix can make a big difference.

I love watching Jose Altuve hit. There’s a ton to love. He’s the little guy who fights. He’s the scrappy leader on an up-and-coming team. He can flat-out rake. He hits everything. He’s his own unit of measurement. That’s all fine and dandy. That’s not specifically why I love him. I love him because he has the potential to be the model hitter for the current generation of kids.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

September 11, 2014 6:00 am

Going Yard: The Magical Swing of Giancarlo Stanton

4

Ryan Parker

What makes Giancarlo Stanton so special isn't just his athleticism.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

August 19, 2014 6:00 am

Going Yard: Four Impressive High School Hitters

2

Ryan Parker

The Perfect Game All-American Classic was fertile ground for watching the next generation of batsmen.

Going to San Diego for the Perfect Game All-American Classic was an experience I will never forget. I got to see the best amateur hitters in the country show off their craft. I saw lots of good things and lots of things I would change if I could. For all the attention these kids are getting, they are just that: kids. I work with athletes like this every day and I know all of these players have swings that are constantly evolving. Keeping that in mind, I won’t nitpick my way through their swings and flaws. Rather, I want to celebrate particular hitters that caught my eye.

The most talked-about hitters in the draft are Daz Cameron and Brendan Rodgers. They put on shows as expected. I knew they would be elite and they did nothing to diminish this standing. Therefore, I want to explore some of the less hyped hitters:

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

Javier Baez's swing is striking, but how does it actually work?

Javier Baez and his Chuck Yeager bat speed are finally in The Show. I already examined him in one of the very first editions of Going Yard but time has passed, there is new film of Baez, and I have learned more about hitting. He might be my favorite hitter on the planet to watch so I couldn’t pass up putting him under the microscope once again.

The last time I looked at Baez, I examined his swing and broke down the bigger motions: his pronounced bat trigger and big leg kick. Very few hitters have one movement as extreme as either of Baez's, but he makes it work. Rather than look again at the motions themselves I want to dive deeper and explore how he makes them work inside the swing and how he could refine them.

Read the full article...

How did J.D. Martinez go from Astros waiver bait to Tigers slugger?

Here are some reasons why people will say J.D. Martinez’s season is a fluke:

Read the full article...

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

July 8, 2014 6:00 am

Going Yard: Super Hits of the 70s

9

Ryan Parker

What makes Raimel Tapia's hit tool special, and what do we look for before we put a 7 on it?

Raimel Tapia has a 70 grade hit tool. There will be other scouts, evaluators, etc. who will debate that grade, but that’s not unusual. People discuss prospect grades all the time. The real discussion here is about the nature of a 70 hit tool; Tapia is just our muse.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

June 10, 2014 6:00 am

Going Yard: Joey Gallo

7

Ryan Parker

The myth of Joey Gallo has grown while the swing of Joey Gallo has been refined.

Everyone wants to talk about Joey Gallo’s power, and why not? Dude has power like Kanye West has ego. He hit 40 home runs last year, and his prodigious power has my early-season proclamation of “don’t expect [him] to be a fast mover” looking silly. His power is a legitimate 80, but that’s not what I want to focus on. The reason Joey Gallo’s stock is exploding this year is his ability to make productive changes to his swing.

As a hitting coach, I realize Gallo might not be making these changes on his own, and that is almost more admirable. Gallo’s power is so extreme he could have made very few changes to his swing and still reached the big leagues at 25 and hit 25-plus home runs. His ability to constantly improve his swing (or listen to good coaching) has him on track to reach the big leagues at 21 or 22 and hit 35-plus. This fact even speaks to his makeup, as it suggests he is not willing to coast on his skills and instead seeks continual improvement.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

Ryan Parker and CJ Wittman debates the merits of Hunter Harvey and explain their thought processes in evaluating him.

Every offseason, we publish our team top 10 lists. These don’t just drive traffic to the site; they drive debate and discussion with our readers. Concurrently, we often publish companion pieces that pull back the curtain on our own Socratic scouting, revealing our internal debates, discussion, disagreements, and often-terse tete-a-tetes. As it turns out, voyeurism can be valuable, as some of these articles eclipsed the shine and popularity of the lists they formed the skeletons of. With each subsequent team release, questions were asked about the companion pieces featuring the internal dialogue. Our audience had spoken.

Read the full article...

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

May 20, 2014 6:00 am

Going Yard: The Swing Problems Troubling Trout

20

Ryan Parker

What has ailed the league's best player this month? The problems start with his swing.

There is nothing average about Mike Trout. People built like Brian Urlacher shouldn’t be able to scale walls, run like a scared deer, all while squarely hitting a round ball with a round bat. The 2014 season has seen Mike Trout put up a slightly more earthbound line than usual. The question is why? The sample size is rapidly getting too large for the saber community to claim this is all due to a small sample of games.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

May 1, 2014 6:00 am

Going Yard: How Hunter Pence's Freak-Show Swing Works

12

Ryan Parker

Hunter Pence has a swing unlike any other--but, in its component parts, like many others.

When I’m not watching baseball I spend my days teaching everyone from 8-year-olds to All-Americans how to improve their swings. A batting cage at East Coast Baseball Academy is my laboratory. Between the mechanical tweaks and endless batting practice there comes a time for young hitters to look at video of major leaguers and learn how the best at the game move their bodies. My favorite swings to use as examples are smooth and athletic. We look at Pujols, Cabera, Posey, etc. We don’t look at Hunter Pence. Maybe we should.

Pence is a career .280 hitter who hits 25 bombs a year. If his job was to have a pretty swing then he would be out of luck. Fortunately for him, his job is to hit baseballs and he has found a way to be extremely successful at his job. It’s time to put Pence under microscope and examine what mechanical features have allowed him to be such a productive ball player.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

April 15, 2014 6:00 am

Going Yard: How Carlos Gomez Got His Groove

7

Ryan Parker

This above all: to thine own self be true, / And it must follow, as the night the day, / Thou canst hit many dingers.

Most hitting changes are subtle and small. Even to the trained eye it can take time to notice a change a hitter may have made months ago. The emergence of Carlos Gomez, All-Star, goes hand-in-hand with a swing change he made at some point between July 6 and 23, 2012.

Before looking at those dates, let’s get familiar with Gomez as a player. He came into the league in 2007 with the Mets before being traded to the Twins in the Johan Santana deal. As a prospect, Gomez was a fascinating case study. I found reports going back to 2006 praising his raw natural power, but it simply never showed up in games. (E.g. “Power is not there now, but potential is there once he adds bulk to his long, lanky frame.”—Kevin Goldstein.) Where his power would take time his speed was immediate and his ticket into a big-league lineup. He never broke double digits in home runs in the minors but he stole over 100 bases combined his first two years on the farm. This was a guy seemingly built to lead off.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

<< Previous Author Entries No More Author Entries