Tool Time: Best left-handed swing
1. Paul McAnulty There are few who exude the confidence of McAnulty in the batter's box. He holds his hands loosely at the shoulders and has a glint in his eye of determination. His swing through the zone is balanced and his bat head sticks in the zone till his follow-through. He squares up he ball nicely and has a great eye. 2. Cedric Hunter In its simplistic form, Hunter has the cleanest swing in the system. He has very little movement and from the time of trigger it looks smooth and effortless. Hunter has great plate coverage, sees the ball extremely well and rarely commits too early. He is also open to suggestions and works hard to keep his swing consistent. 3. Will Venable An example of hard work paying off, Venable went into the off-season after his initial campaign with tons of questions. But he refined his swing and came back with a confident approach. The results were obvious as his pitch selection was far better and he was using his quick wrists and terrific hand-to-eye coordination to put the fat part of the bat to the ball. He could take another giant step this year. 4. Peter Ciofrone Very few times during the year does Ciofrone need help. He is one of the few who will simply hum along at his own pace as his swing remains consistent. The only time he sees his hitting coach shrink is in relation to balance and staying back on the ball. He will get anxious and jump pitches but has the strength to muscle through it. Those times are few and far between. 5. Chase Headley Ironically, there were more than a few people who wanted to bag his left-handed swing in favor of his right-handed swing but the reverse seems truer. One of the problems with a switch-hitter is working with two distinctly different swings. Headley sees more action from the left side and has refined his swing while his hitting from the right side often sees him fly open too early and commit to pitches before they break. 6. Javis Diaz A master of bat control, Diaz has a quick trigger and lightning quick hands to put the ball in play. He is very rarely fooled and excellent at executing the hit-and-run. Looking at him in the box, you would believe he has a tough time catching up to pitches but rarely does a fastball he wants to hit blow by him. Also in consideration (alphabetical): Brett Bonvechio Perhaps a surprise to the list, Bonvechio actually has a solid swing, which often finds the fat part of the barrel. Tim Brown His line drive swing is in the John Olerud mode and he squares up the ball well. Michael Johnson While his swing has length to it, it is an absolute delight to watch him ship balls out of the yard. Vince Sinisi Injuries plagued the early part of his career but it is easy to see why people fell in love with his game.
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