Re: Forget Iglesias, He Can't Hit
posted at 9/19/2012 9:50 PM EDT
No way I give up Iglesias until I try a different approach to his hitting mentality. His glove is just too good to give up on him yet.
Right now he is trying to hit the ball to (and over) the fences. This guy is NOT likely to ever be a home run or big extra base hit guy. You can see it in every full swing he takes, and even when he has hit the ball pretty well it is far from any fences.
He needs to be taught to hit the ball back up the middle on the ground or with a line drive and forget doubles, triples and home runs. He is athletic enough to do this, but it will take a dramatic change from what he is doing right now. And, he will get some extra base hits with this concept although probably not many HRs.
He also needs to learn how to bunt for a hit as his speed is at least pretty decent if not better than average. On the Sox, he is probably the third fastest guy right now, and he runs the bases well when he does get on.
If you could hit the ball hard two times a game and five times every two games up the middle he would have at least two base hits in those two games. If he could learn to bunt for a hit he could get maybe one of them every third game as well. Sacrificing one time a game is also not a bad thing for a number 9 hitter who has little power.
All that with a better approach to controlling the strike zone and drawing a walk every other game, he will have a .250-.270 average and an OBP of about .360 over the course of the season. Realize that those numbers will come with little to no power and very few RBIs, but I think that his glove is worth having with those numbers.
He cannot be thought of like most hitters because he is not like most hitters. He needs a different approach and a different set of goals. If he is going to be judged by home runs and RBIs he may as well go home to the Dominican right now, but if you can live without home runs and big RBI numbers for this guy he could be a keeper for many years.
Just pull this kid aside and tell him if he wants to be a starting SS in the major leagues that he needs to become like the old time glove men from the 50s and 60s. Get some singles by hitting the ball (glorified pepper if you will) up the middle, learn to bunt for a hit, bunt to sacrifice and draw a walk every other game, and he will quicly understand it.
This lack of finding a way to make each player a contributing factor has been disappointing for me when concerning the Red Sox coaching staff and manager all year. Some other examples have been not adjusting Beckett's pre game warmup routine when he was routinely getting ripped apart in the first inning and Saltalmacchia's problems with sliders in the dirt early in the count that have greatly contributed to his many, many strikeouts and his .230 average and only 50 RBIs even though he has 24 home runs this year. Managing and coaching is about "fixing" things that your players do in order to make them more productive team contributors.