Saturday, May 23, 2015

Brandon Crawford's power surge

It looks like it's here to stay -- if you're persuaded by this Fanfraphs piece. I  was.

Here is the end ----

 

This year, Crawford is starting with his hands a little lower. He has what seems to be a shorter path to the ball. But he also just seems to have a more forceful swing, deriving more power from his lower body. His back leg gets closer to a 90-degree angle. It appears there’s more force being transferred to his front leg. Crawford is getting more of himself into his swing, and while swing analysis like this can’t be conclusive, you can consider the signs. It looks like Crawford is swinging more powerfully. His statistics have gotten more powerful. And pitchers are treating Crawford like more of a power hitter. It all fits. Maybe we’d learn more if Crawford moved up in the Giants’ order, further from the pitcher’s spot, but here we are and everything’s promising.
Crawford had already done enough. He’d already worked to turn himself into something like an average hitter, which is valuable when you’re a plus defensive shortstop. There are people who never thought such a day would arrive. But now it looks like Crawford is raising his game to even another level still. He’s trying to move beyond being a decent hitter, toward being a good one, an intimidating one. In the early going, it’s working. By average batted-ball velocity, Crawford’s right there with Jose Abreu and Josh Donaldson. If this is all noise, it’s doing a hell of a job of being convincing.
I can’t imagine we’ll ever think of Brandon Crawford as a power hitter. But he’s developing into a pretty good hitter, with power. Who knew? I guess you could say the Giants knew, but I’m not sure they expected this much.

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