Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Brady Anderson Teaching Mark Reynolds To Not Strikeout

Well, well. It looks like former Orioles star outfielder Brady Anderson has found a nice secondary career as a trainer/hitting instructor in Southern California. Working out in the sun all day sounds like a nightmare to me but I'm Irish and the most extensive lifting I do is moving a laptop around. I do some solid reps with six ounce adult beverages but that's just for tone not bulk.

Anyway, Anderson recently had a little Q&A with The Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro and he spoke specifically about one of my favorite players...
Q: What have you been working on with Reynolds?

A: He gets himself in a situation where he's late, he waits until the last second and swings as hard as he can. That's a mechanical flaw - not him being stubborn. When you're late and you don't have proper rhythm and timing, you chase high fastballs with two strikes, you check swing and strike out on sliders in the dirt. ... It doesn't really matter that he strikes out. Sure, you'd like to eliminate them. You don't have to take them from 200 down to 100. Ideally with him, the difference in a tiny little incremental improvement, if he went from 215 (strikeouts) to 185 ... then the whole season changes.
I love Mark Reynolds but this is scary news for me. I spend way too much time during the season watching Reynolds' box scores awaiting just one more strikeout to crown him with another Golden Sombrero. He even won our first annual Golden Sombrero of the Year Award but, for some reason, still has not contacted me for his Off Base t-shirt prize.

Now, Reynolds is taking his Ks to Baltimore and has turned to Anderson for help. This is very disconcerting for me as I was fully expecting a 437 strikeout season against the power arms in the AL East. I'm no scout but in the 30 seconds that I took to skim this interview, it sounds like Anderson knows what he's talking about. Rhythm, timing and not striking out all sound like keys to not striking out.

I'm sure I've thrown around some perfectly unfounded opinions on Anderson's silly (steroidy?) 50 home run season but he only struck out over 100 times in just five seasons and his watermark was 111. Anderson was a 18.3% strikeout rate guy compared to Reynolds' fantastic (for me) 38.7% rate.

I'm not happy about this and will be monitoring the situation closely.

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