Much Being Thown At Suttle

Another 0-4 on Friday brought his average down to .097 through his first 21 games in the Hawaiian Winter League, which is in essence his first real taste of professional baseball. But while passive observers look at Bradley Suttle's numbers with a pessimistic eye, it should be pointed out the former University of Texas third baseman has a lot on his plate right now.

"It's going good so far," Bradley Suttle honestly exclaimed. "Obviously my numbers aren't that great but it's my first professional experience. I got a couple of AB's in the GCL but I hadn't played all summer. It's always tough getting back to live pitching and from what I hear these are the best pitchers in low and high-A.

"On top of that I've started to make some changes. They saw some things in my swing that I needed to change so I'm starting to make some adjustments which is tough, to perform at the same time while making adjustments in your swing and stance. Not looking at the numbers I think things are going pretty well."

Signing for $1.3 million as a fourth round pick comes with a lot of heavy expectations, especially from people outside of the organization. Internally however the Yankees are throwing a lot on his plate right now and many factors have combined to create a perfect storm of sorts as to why he has struggled to the degree he has thus far, especially considering the long layoff he had.

"It's tough," he admitted. "My last game was like June 5th or something, a couple of days before the draft. I didn't face live pitching all summer and so it's tough coming back but it's also tougher - if I came back to college pitching it might be a little easier but now I'm making another step to professional pitching, which is obviously better - and then a step up to this league which is even better with the top pitchers from low and high-A."

"I made a couple of jumps all at once. I wasn't expecting to come out here and be one of the best hitters right after having three months off. It's definitely tough but a couple of other things made it tougher."

Not only has he had to shake off the rust from not playing competitive baseball for so long while facing much stiffer competition than he ever has, but the Yankees have also had him instituting some new changes in his hitting mechanics and that has put him further behind.

"I think the biggest thing is just getting some separation with my hands from my body," he said of the biggest change to his mechanics. "For I don't know how long - but for a while and nobody else has corrected this before maybe just because it was working - I kept my hands real close to my body and then load with my whole body instead of separating my hands from my body.

"Basically I was moving my hands back and my body back and now I'm getting my hands away from my body and getting a little bit more power when I hit the ball. That's tough to get used to and I've been working on that for a couple of weeks."

Not only are they working on his separation, but they've worked on his stance as well, taking the bat off of his shoulders [see photo above from the Gulf Coast League] to get him in a more ready hitting position and they've even changed the way he holds the bat.

"Just with my stance in general, I've been widening and try not to move my head when I load," he revealed. "I used to have an up [action] and then come back down when I swung. My head would move a lot which obviously makes it harder to see the ball. I'm trying to keep my head more level with just a more consistent stride, a short easy stride.

"Another would be keeping the barrel more up towards the sky instead of flat on my shoulder. Those three things are pretty big and I've also changed my grip on the bat. I was lining up my knuckles too much so we're trying to move my hands a little bit on the bat to give me more power too.

"There's quite a few things we're working on but I'm feeling much more comfortable with them now and I expect to start hitting the ball better and better as I get more comfortable."

The Yankees gave him a couple of weeks in the Hawaiian Winter League to get his bearings straight before getting to work on his mechanics. And while the numbers have been quite disappointing so far, Suttle and the Yankees know it takes a little while to break old patterns.

"I'm not comfortable with it all right now but I'm getting more comfortable with my hands away from my body and being looser and freer, and just getting them back away from my body," said the 21-year old. "I think that's the biggest thing that I need to work on.

"Breaking habits takes a couple of weeks if you work on it day in and day out. I started about two to three weeks ago making that first adjustment. I'm starting to get more comfortable with it now."

While it is quite obvious from his numbers with the Honolulu Sharks that he hasn't found his comfort level in the games yet, he does admit his swing is starting to feel a lot better than it had in batting practice and that gives him faith all the pains he is enduring right now will pay dividends in the long run.

"No doubt," he said if he feels like a better hitter in batting practice after the changes have been made. "I'm hitting the ball better than I did when I first got here, no question, definitely with more power and now I've just got to work on consistency.

"I think timing is the hardest part. When you change your stance, timing is the biggest issue. It takes time, repetition, and repetition, so getting the timing down in the games is pretty tough. When I am getting the timing down, I have hit more and more balls hard in the games. I've hit the ball hard after making those adjustments so that's encouraging."

Feeling more like a professional hitter, Suttle points out that even though his stat lines might look like he is regressing at the plate, he contends it is actually the exact opposite.

"No doubt, I'm making improvements and that's what you want to do," he said emphatically. "Throughout your minor league career you just want to get better and I know I'm getting better, that's the bottom line for me."

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"It's going good so far,\" Bradley Suttle honestly exclaimed. \"Obviously my numbers aren't that great but it's my first professional experience. I got a couple of AB's in the GCL but I hadn't played all summer. It's always tough getting back to live pitching and from what I hear these are the best pitchers in low and high-A.
\r\n
\r\n\"On top of that I've started to make some changes. They saw some things in my swing that I needed to change so I'm starting to make some adjustments which is tough, to perform at the same time while making adjustments in your swing and stance. Not looking at the numbers I think things are going pretty well.\"
\r\n
\r\nSigning for $1.3 million as a fourth round pick comes with a lot of heavy expectations, especially from people outside of the organization. Internally however the Yankees are throwing a lot on his plate right now and many factors have combined to create a perfect storm of sorts as to why he has struggled to the degree he has thus far, especially considering the long layoff he had.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's tough,\" he admitted. \"My last game was like June 5th or something, a couple of days before the draft. I didn't face live pitching all summer and so it's tough coming back but it's also tougher - if I came back to college pitching it might be a little easier but now I'm making another step to professional pitching, which is obviously better - and then a step up to this league which is even better with the top pitchers from low and high-A.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I made a couple of jumps all at once. I wasn't expecting to come out here and be one of the best hitters right after having three months off. It's definitely tough but a couple of other things made it tougher.\"
\r\n
\r\nNot only has he had to shake off the rust from not playing competitive baseball for so long while facing much stiffer competition than he ever has, but the Yankees have also had him instituting some new changes in his hitting mechanics and that has put him further behind.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think the biggest thing is just getting some separation with my hands from my body,\" he said of the biggest change to his mechanics. \"For I don't know how long - but for a while and nobody else has corrected this before maybe just because it was working - I kept my hands real close to my body and then load with my whole body instead of separating my hands from my body.
\r\n
\r\n\"Basically I was moving my hands back and my body back and now I'm getting my hands away from my body and getting a little bit more power when I hit the ball. That's tough to get used to and I've been working on that for a couple of weeks.\"
\r\n
\r\nNot only are they working on his separation, but they've worked on his stance as well, taking the bat off of his shoulders [see photo above from the Gulf Coast League] to get him in a more ready hitting position and they've even changed the way he holds the bat.
\r\n
\r\n\"Just with my stance in general, I've been widening and try not to move my head when I load,\" he revealed. \"I used to have an up [action] and then come back down when I swung. My head would move a lot which obviously makes it harder to see the ball. I'm trying to keep my head more level with just a more consistent stride, a short easy stride.
\r\n
\r\n\"Another would be keeping the barrel more up towards the sky instead of flat on my shoulder. Those three things are pretty big and I've also changed my grip on the bat. I was lining up my knuckles too much so we're trying to move my hands a little bit on the bat to give me more power too.
\r\n
\r\n\"There's quite a few things we're working on but I'm feeling much more comfortable with them now and I expect to start hitting the ball better and better as I get more comfortable.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe Yankees gave him a couple of weeks in the Hawaiian Winter League to get his bearings straight before getting to work on his mechanics. And while the numbers have been quite disappointing so far, Suttle and the Yankees know it takes a little while to break old patterns.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm not comfortable with it all right now but I'm getting more comfortable with my hands away from my body and being looser and freer, and just getting them back away from my body,\" said the 21-year old. \"I think that's the biggest thing that I need to work on.
\r\n
\r\n\"Breaking habits takes a couple of weeks if you work on it day in and day out. I started about two to three weeks ago making that first adjustment. I'm starting to get more comfortable with it now.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile it is quite obvious from his numbers with the Honolulu Sharks that he hasn't found his comfort level in the games yet, he does admit his swing is starting to feel a lot better than it had in batting practice and that gives him faith all the pains he is enduring right now will pay dividends in the long run.
\r\n
\r\n\"No doubt,\" he said if he feels like a better hitter in batting practice after the changes have been made. \"I'm hitting the ball better than I did when I first got here, no question, definitely with more power and now I've just got to work on consistency.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think timing is the hardest part. When you change your stance, timing is the biggest issue. It takes time, repetition, and repetition, so getting the timing down in the games is pretty tough. When I am getting the timing down, I have hit more and more balls hard in the games. I've hit the ball hard after making those adjustments so that's encouraging.\"
\r\n
\r\nFeeling more like a professional hitter, Suttle points out that even though his stat lines might look like he is regressing at the plate, he contends it is actually the exact opposite.
\r\n
\r\n\"No doubt, I'm making improvements and that's what you want to do,\" he said emphatically. \"Throughout your minor league career you just want to get better and I know I'm getting better, that's the bottom line for me.\"
\r\n
\r\n

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

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\r\n

\r\n

Become an annual subscriber today!

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