he's chasing dreams hitting seams.
she's chasing dreams talking sports.
Last offseason we sat down and discussed Matt’s swing changes over the years. Then we specifically dove into what he was working on during the 2016-2017 offseason, which was his swing path. (aka the uppercut)
You can watch the swing vlog here, and the changes we’re talking in this blog start around the eight-minute mark.
Matt started focusing more on launch angle to increase power. If you’re not familiar with launch angle, launch angle is the degree at which the ball comes off the bat. More clubs are starting to look at statistical components – such as launch angle – with more importance. A higher launch angle means more power numbers according to the stats. A good launch angle can be from anywhere between 10-20.
Matt’s launch angle average was seven during his 2016 season in High-A.
After the swing path changes were made during the offseason, Matt’s launch angle average was 14 during the 2017 season in AA. He hit more homeruns and doubles and had a higher batting average than all pervious seasons.
Matt’s average exit velocity also increased from 85 MPH in 2016 to 90 MPH in 2017.
To make the change, Matt lowered his hands and stuck to the approach of driving the ball to the opposite field gap. Matt’s swing was usually pretty flat, but with the mindset of swinging with an uppercut allowed his bat to stay through the zone longer.
Matt says he didn’t feel fully comfortable with the swing change until the end of April, basically a month into the season. It was a lot of trial and error because you can feel good hitting off the tee but don’t feel good hitting front toss or you feel good hitting off the machine but not in batting practice. We just kept going with trial and error until it felt good during the game which when it comes down to it is all that matters.
Matt says he just felt confident the changes were going to pay off eventually, and there was no turning back at that point. The ground balls to second started to be line drives in the gaps and the normal fly outs turned into homeruns because of the higher launch angle and more backspin.
As of now, Matt hasn’t been working on any more changes. He’s been hitting off the tee mainly…and struggling to hit my front toss a couple of times. He’s going to hit with hitting guru Craig Wallenbrock and Jay Gibbons at the end of January, so we’ll what they have to say about the swing.
Oh and remember when I was skeptical about the uppercut? I think I'm OK with it for now. :)
Matt & Jesica Beaty
Welcome in to dreams and seams! A tell-all blog about our career dreams and path to reaching those dreams with some commentary about sports and life plus some videos too.
"Strive for the impossible because it makes the possible seem effortless." -Matt Beaty