Breaking down Travis Jankowski’s new swing

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Breaking down Travis Jankowski's new swing

- OK, so for Travis, the first thing he did was shift mentally-- decide what type of hitter he wanted to be. Well, that's all well and good, right, because you can say I want to hit a golf ball 350 yards. It's another thing to do it physically. So physically, what adjustments have you seen?

- Well, he went into the off season and he tried to correct some of the flaws that he had. And so timing mechanism. So if you think about what he was last year comparable to this year, he really changed some certain things physically in his set up position. You see the bat angle? That really sticks out in my mind.

Also, the hand position-- very different. Because if you look at this year, it's almost right on his shoulder, but he knows where his hands are at address. When your setting up, you have to understand it has to be very consistent. So if you look at the side swing, there's a couple elements.

You see the hands right off the shoulder? So he knows where he's launching from. The toe tap, instead of the leg kick, it's a toe tap this year. And his hands are direct to the baseball. You see him going through the center of the field, being able to let the ball travel a little bit more? But also when we talk about contact rate Mike, you have to see the ball as long as you can.

Travis Jankowski, because of all the timing elements that he eliminated, he became simple, he became vanilla. And that is actually a good thing. There's so many people now that they want to try to create that leg kick, create more strength, because we're talking about the home. Well, Travis Jankowski said, listen, I need contact, I need to get on base, I need to be able to slash the ball to all fields. And if I do that, I'm on the base path and then I get very dangerous.

- You know what he said that I found was interesting, he said the first thing he noticed when he took away the leg kick was that he was able to identify pitches better and let the ball travel. And that's why he said his chase rate went down right away. Explain to us what that exactly means?

Why does eliminating the leg kick affect your ability to judge balls and strikes?

- Timing mechanisms. But when I talk about vanilla, there's certain elements to Travis Jankowski's swing that you look at. And it starts with his hands. Because when he's in the batter's box, what he did is his hands were off last year, whereas up here, now he just lays them on his shoulder--

More relaxed?

- And more relaxed, he gets in a relaxed set up. And then he just lifts them off here. But he knows where he's going.

So when this comes here, he has to toe tap, but then he gets back in that little load position and he gets to see the ball as long as he can. His head is very still. He doesn't have a lot of movement when it comes down to the elements of his swing. But then when he goes, he's direct. It's very short to the baseball, so he's able to take that 95 mile an hour fastball, back it up here, and slash it all over.

When you're short to the baseball, it's where your load comes from and your direct here. What a lot of guys do that want to create power is they get back here and then they launch from back this way. They drop the barrel and it really gets longer.

Travis Jankowski as a lead off hitter cannot do that. He has to have the ability to-- with two strikes we've seen adjustments. He is able to hit the ball the other way. Hit the ball to center field. And you know what, occasionally, you start creating some comfort level where he can just throw his hands to the baseball. And I think that's really important.

- One of the things I do like about Travis is he's a very level headed guy. Like, anybody can do this for two, three weeks at a time. I've got to be able to do it over the course of the season.