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Friday, October 31, 2014

David Ortiz explains how he fixed his swing after bad seasons

David Ortiz swingRemember when David Ortiz was struggling in 2008 and 2009 and everyone thought his career was coming to an end? Yeah, about that.

Since 2009, Ortiz has put together four very good seasons, including three excellent ones in a row. And of course, he was MVP of the World Series after putting together one of the most impressive Fall Classics in history.

So how did Ortiz get his swing back on track? Did he start using PEDs like many have speculated? Or did he just correct a mechanical flaw? Ortiz says he discovered he had a hand injury which hampered him in 2008 and 2009. He has mentioned the hand injury to the media in the past, so that was nothing new. But something I hadn’t heard him share before was how a friend noticed a flaw in his swing that he worked to correct.

“At the time, there is one thing that I figured out. I had an injury in 2008 on my hand that carried over to 2009. And I had this loop in my swing that [kept me from] catching up with pitches. I was under every pitch,” Ortiz explained in an interview with ESPN’s Chris Berman after Boston’s Game 6 win.

“So one of my buddies from back home that plays baseball with me and knows a lot about baseball called me and told me, ‘Hey, it’s nothing wrong with your swing, you just have that loop because you’re not using your top hand. Go back to that, start training your top hand like you used to and you’re going to go back to normal. You’re right there with every pitch. The reason why you’re not catching up with it is because the ball is here and [your bat is below it]. Your bottom hand is taking over and your top hand is not doing anything,'” the friend told Ortiz.

“So when I started watching videos, everything clicked one day. Boom. Just because of that.”

Was repairing his swing as simple as that? Apparently so. Ortiz has posted an OPS of at least .953 the past three seasons, including a 1.026 OPS in 90 games last year. He was an absolute monster in the World Series, posting a .668 batting average and 1.948 OPS this October. His career OPS in the World Series is above 1.380. That guy just brings it on the biggest stage.



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