Monday, April 28, 2014

Carlos Beltran, Professional Hitter

When you've been around for as long as Carlos Beltran has (15 full seasons plus partials in 1998 and this season), you're going to learn a lot about what it takes to be a successful hitter.  With a .365 career wOBA and values of .355, .359, and .362 in the last 3 seasons as he's moved into his late 30s, it's fair to say Beltran has picked up his fair share of important lessons and personal tips.  He spoke to David Laurila of FanGraphs for a post that went up on Friday about some of those tips and his general hitting strategy.  It was a very interesting look inside the mind of one of the best all-around hitters of the last 20 years.

For me, the highlight of the post was Beltran talking about knowing the feeling in his legs from pitch to pitch and knowing if he has them under him for his swing based on whether or not he feels like the wind is blowing him off-balance.  That's some next-level veteran stuff right there.  I also liked Beltran's self-described approach of always going up there looking for the 1 pitch he wants and being willing to wait for it.  The guy has seen everything at this point in his career and he knows the value of going up to the plate with a plan and sticking with that plan.  Based on his early .538 SLG and team-leading 5 homers, I'd say that plan is working out well.  The average and OBP will come up in time.  When it does, Beltran could really put up some big numbers hitting in YS3.

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