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Wilson8
01-30-2009, 12:50 PM
Interesting article...Alex Gordon working with former Royals Kevin Seitzer and Joe Randa. It would be nice to see Alex become a great baseball player for the Royals.

Gordon following new overall plan this winter

Friday, January 30, 2009 | http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3871494&name=olney_buster&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fespn%2fblog%2findex%3fentryID%3d3871494%26name%3dolne y_buster

Kevin Seitzer went to a few Royals games last season, and he saw the talent and the power in third baseman Alex Gordon. But he also saw a hitter who seemed too conscious of pulling the ball -- and his swing was not conducive to the kind of consistency needed to haul a hitter through the inevitable struggles of a 162-game season.

So when Seitzer was named as the Royals' new hitting coach several months ago, he already had a good sense of adjustments he wanted to address with Gordon, the Royals' slugger. Weeks ago, Gordon started going out to Seitzer's place to work on his swing, and he feels as if he's made great strides as he prepares for the third season of his career.

"It's really about the approach, mentally," said Gordon, who also has been working on his defensive play with former Royals third baseman Joe Randa.

Gordon feels like he lost focus in his approach, and that in taking batting practice, he'd gotten into the habit of trying to launch the baseball. "I was trying to muscle up when I took BP," he said.

What Gordon and Seitzer have done in their work together is to change the hand path of his swing -- to change the way he swings the bat, to put him in a better position to use the whole field, to hit the ball up the middle and the opposite way. They've talked about making him more fluid in his swing, less rigid -- "letting his hands work better," Seitzer said.

Gordon starts each of their sessions with tee work designed to make him use his hands properly, with his feet essentially flat, "to get the mechanics going the right way."

Then, when he starts to take regular batting practice, they talk situations -- different counts, different runner alignments, different pitchers. The default swing for Gordon, throughout, is that approach to hit the ball the other way. It's an adjustment that Seitzer believes will serve Gordon well through the long season.

"I think there's probably 10-15 percent of the season when a hitter is smoking hot," said Seitzer. "There's about 10-15 percent of the season when a hitter is ice-cold, when they have no clue. And about 60-70 percent of the time, they feel OK, when they have decent days. Hopefully, we can shorten the ice-cold part for him, and increase the smoking-hot time."

Gordon had some really cold spells last season. His month-to-month OPS, at-bats, walks and strikeouts:

April: .799, 98, 10, 24
May: .745, 107, 13, 25
June: .748, 98, 14, 24
July: .704, 84, 14, 23
August: .877, 56, 11, 11
September: .888, 45, 4, 11

Gordon's work on his defense with Randa has been in cleaning up a lot of his mechanics, of getting his feet in the right position so that he doesn't have to rely so much on his arm, which has tended to drag as he makes his throws.

booyaf2
01-30-2009, 12:56 PM
Welcome to the minors Alex

Sure-Oz
01-30-2009, 01:00 PM
I hope this guy gets an above average season this year, it's year 3 now

DaWolf
01-30-2009, 01:12 PM
If Gordon doesn't blossom into a player this team has no chance...

Reaper16
01-30-2009, 01:14 PM
Now that he seems to actually be working on his swing, he should bloom. Every fucking Royals fan here on CP would comment on the obvious holes in Alex's swing last year, but apparently Mike Barnett didn't think to work with Alex on it. I'm glad Barnett is gone.

Sure-Oz
01-30-2009, 01:16 PM
He barely improved his #'s from year 1, he had his walks up, avg up, 1 more HR, i expect him to get 90 rbis this year and a higher avg. .247 and .260 isn't cutting it

DeezNutz
01-30-2009, 01:16 PM
There's just too much talent there for him not to develop.

I'm going to surprised, and greatly disappointed, if he continues to be A guy and not THE guy (or something closer to it).

Sure-Oz
01-30-2009, 01:21 PM
There's just too much talent there for him not to develop.

I'm going to surprised, and greatly disappointed, if he continues to be A guy and not THE guy (or something closer to it).

The guy has always succeeded too, which makes it really disappointing. He has alot of raw power too. I have big hopes for him this year, atleast get the #'s up, esp in the power and rbi's dept.

Deberg_1990
01-30-2009, 01:23 PM
If Gordon doesn't blossom into a player this team has no chance...


This...

Mr. Laz
01-30-2009, 01:30 PM
Now that he seems to actually be working on his swing, he should bloom. Every fucking Royals fan here on CP would comment on the obvious holes in Alex's swing last year, but apparently Mike Barnett didn't think to work with Alex on it. I'm glad Barnett is gone.
actually rumor has it, that MANY people have tried to get Gordon to work on his swing, including George Brett, and he would just nod his head but then keep doing it his way.

so maybe it wasn't Barnett has much as it was Gordon being a stubborn azz.

DeezNutz
01-30-2009, 01:32 PM
The guy has always succeeded too, which makes it really disappointing. He has alot of raw power too. I have big hopes for him this year, atleast get the #'s up, esp in the power and rbi's dept.

This might add to Laz's point, too. Gordon has always been the best, so it would be easy to understand why he might have a "leave my swing the **** alone attitude."

It's clearly time to adjust now, though.

His walks were on the rise last year, and this gives me a lot of hope.

Nixhex
01-30-2009, 01:33 PM
I think he comes into his own and tears it up this year.

SCTrojan
01-30-2009, 01:37 PM
His walks were on the rise last year, and this gives me a lot of hope.

Agree - his OBP was up as a consequence. The prevailing wisdom is that the walks often come before the power. Let's hope that's what happens for Alex.

Mark M
01-30-2009, 01:41 PM
actually rumor has it, that MANY people have tried to get Gordon to work on his swing, including George Brett, and he would just nod his head but then keep doing it his way.

so maybe it wasn't Barnett has much as it was Gordon being a stubborn azz.

That was exactly the problem from the folks I've spoken to (including one inside the organization).

Basically, he's a nice guy and all, very smart, with huge skills. But he was also successful at all levels doing what he was doing, and wasn't sure he wanted to tinker with it. Even Brett's advice, while listened to with respect, was basically blown off.

But after his numbers didn't improve, there were some conversations about how he needed to suck it up and adjust. After all, everyone at this level adjusts all the time to keep ahead of the competition. So it was either that, or he'd be one of the biggest disappointments in MLB history.

Good to see they got through to him, because he should easily be a .300+ BA, .400+ on base, 30-40 HR, 90-100 RBI guy. Hopefully, this will help get him there.

MM
~~:Royals:

Ultra Peanut
01-31-2009, 02:57 AM
The guy has always succeeded too,You mean like Billy Beane?

Demonpenz
01-31-2009, 07:59 AM
He has the power to hit it out anywhere I don't know why he tries to yank them down the line all the time.