Not to be captain obvious or anything, but has anyone ever told the Toronto Blue Jays that the first step of hitting a home run is actually making contact with the baseball?
Before we get into this, I want it to be abundantly clear that there is very little cause for concern so far after a small sample size of games, but that doesn’t mean you should be satisfied, especially with the approach at the plate the Blue Jays have had at the plate early in the season.
The art of small ball has been dying for quite some time, and if you were to ask baseball’s traditionalists, they would be disgusted with how the Blue Jays have been swinging the bats. I love the long ball just as much as the next guy, but it can’t always be about going to the plate with a home run or nothing attitude. It’s just not going to work.
One of the Blue Jays biggest issues this season has been taking wild hacks and getting themselves into two-strike counts where they are at the mercy of the pitcher. It’s very frustrating to watch players take massive swings at very hittable pitches and come up with nothing.
Once again, there are problems, but they can very easily be fixed and it’s not all doom and gloom. Randal Grichuk and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. have come out of the gates hot and have set a great example for what the Jays should be doing at the plate. Even when Guerrero does come unglued, you can see him telling himself to wait for the ball to come to him. It’s something that all hitters should be doing.
As the title says, you can’t hit a home run without hitting the ball first. It is critical that the Jays find a way to change their approach at the plate to something a little more conservative. Putting more of a focus on small ball would be a great start. Instead of trying to score one run every time you come to the plate, just get on base and put your teammate in a good spot.
If you put the ball in play, you never know what can happen. Maybe it’s some early season jitters or maybe it’s just a flawed game plan, but either way, it’s something that needs to be fixed sooner rather than later. The home runs will come, but you don’t need every at-bat to end in one.
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