Grote Tweaking His Approach

TAMPA, FL - There were folks inside the Yankee organization this past offseason who felt that Taylor Grote was on the precipice of a potential breakout season in 2011 despite missing most of last season, including Grote himself. Well he's been tweaking his approach this Spring Training camp and if Wednesday's results are a sign of things to come, people should watch out.

"I've been struggling statistics-wise," Taylor Grote said, "not that they really count here in Spring Training but I've been working on a few things with ‘J-Ro' [hitting coordinator James Rowson] and Justin Turner, and man, it's making all of the difference in the world.

"I'm trying to set my weight back and it gives me so much time to see the ball. The past couple of games I had been focusing on just that and not so much on the pitcher, and now I've been able to kind of lock that in a little bit and just focus on my game plan at the plate. It obviously kind of showed [on Wednesday]."

Boy was it obvious. He went 4-4 with two doubles, two home runs [both were titanic blasts too], three runs scored, and three RBI against the Phillies on Wednesday, and his 9th inning double that hit off the right-centerfield fence was nearly his third home run of the game.

"I was just trying to put another good swing on a ball," he said. "It would have been cool but I need to save those for the year. I thought it had a chance when it left the bat and then it hit the top of the fence, but whatever."

It's not as if Grote and the Yankees didn't see some of this coming a while back though.

"He's driving the ball to all fields with authority," hitting coordinator James Rowson said back in November. "We thought he had some power but we're starting to see the ball come off of his bat a different way these days. It's coming off with some juice on it, to all fields. He's going to be tough to pitch to."

Not only was he tough to pitch to on Wednesday, but Grote, who also believed he was primed for a breakout season before camp started, thinks staying back in his swing is the final piece in his developmental puzzle.

"I really think it is and then mentally, if I can hold that each and every day, and not buy into one game just like today, buy into hitting a couple of doubles and two home runs, being in and seeing that position is what I've got to focus in on everyday and not so much the results." he said calmly.

"I've gotten better at not getting too down when stuff is down but I've also got to maintain when things are going good – limit the valley as they say."

He realizes in the end it was just one really successful Spring Training game on Wednesday and that he will need to show a lot more of that going forward, but outside of the results it is his new approach that has him brimming with confidence.

"There's nothing really stopping me, just myself," Grote opined. "With that approach, keeping my weight back like that, I've never felt like that in my life. I've never had that much time to see the ball.

"I can do that against anyone. Not the results, but my approach and where I'm at body-wise at the plate. If I stay there, there's no telling what I can do."

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\r\n \r\n\r\n\"I've been struggling statistics-wise,\" Taylor Grote said, \"not that they really count here in Spring Training but I've been working on a few things with ‘J-Ro' [hitting coordinator James Rowson] and Justin Turner, and man, it's making all of the difference in the world.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm trying to set my weight back and it gives me so much time to see the ball. The past couple of games I had been focusing on just that and not so much on the pitcher, and now I've been able to kind of lock that in a little bit and just focus on my game plan at the plate. It obviously kind of showed [on Wednesday].\"
\r\n
\r\nBoy was it obvious. He went 4-4 with two doubles, two home runs [both were titanic blasts too], three runs scored, and three RBI against the Phillies on Wednesday, and his 9th inning double that hit off the right-centerfield fence was nearly his third home run of the game.
\r\n
\r\n\"I was just trying to put another good swing on a ball,\" he said. \"It would have been cool but I need to save those for the year. I thought it had a chance when it left the bat and then it hit the top of the fence, but whatever.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt's not as if Grote and the Yankees didn't see some of this coming a while back though.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's driving the ball to all fields with authority,\" hitting coordinator James Rowson said back in November. \"We thought he had some power but we're starting to see the ball come off of his bat a different way these days. It's coming off with some juice on it, to all fields. He's going to be tough to pitch to.\"
\r\n
\r\nNot only was he tough to pitch to on Wednesday, but Grote, who also believed he was primed for a breakout season before camp started, thinks staying back in his swing is the final piece in his developmental puzzle.
\r\n
\r\n\"I really think it is and then mentally, if I can hold that each and every day, and not buy into one game just like today, buy into hitting a couple of doubles and two home runs, being in and seeing that position is what I've got to focus in on everyday and not so much the results.\" he said calmly.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've gotten better at not getting too down when stuff is down but I've also got to maintain when things are going good – limit the valley as they say.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe realizes in the end it was just one really successful Spring Training game on Wednesday and that he will need to show a lot more of that going forward, but outside of the results it is his new approach that has him brimming with confidence.
\r\n
\r\n\"There's nothing really stopping me, just myself,\" Grote opined. \"With that approach, keeping my weight back like that, I've never felt like that in my life. I've never had that much time to see the ball.
\r\n
\r\n\"I can do that against anyone. Not the results, but my approach and where I'm at body-wise at the plate. If I stay there, there's no telling what I can do.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

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