Battle Shortening Up

Tim Battle hit just .218 in his return trip to the Tampa Yankees last season, piling up 149 strikeouts along the way, and eventually seeing his full-time playing status dwindle down to a part-time capacity. Getting ready for his fifth full season in pinstripes, he has been working out at the minor league complex all offseason in an effort to shorten his swing.

"I think it sucked to be honest with you - did you not see my stats? I didn't do very well," Tim Battle said bluntly. "It was my worst season ever.

"I wasn't hitting the ball the way I wanted to. I hit it hard a lot but I'd pop up or right at people and get robbed. It's okay though, everybody has a bad season [sometimes]."

While there were some encouraging numbers - 16 doubles, seven triples, nine home runs, and 20 stolen bases - he knows for him to tap his potential he needs to cut down on the strikeouts.

"It's not too much the outside pitch as much as it is a matter of hitting the right pitches," he said. "Yeah they throw outside and I should be able to hit that pitch, but swinging at good pitches means you don't get out a lot. Swinging at good pitches means you get more balls hard-hit. Swinging at good pitches means you get more balls going where you want them to go."

He made some improvements laying off the breaking balls out of the strike zone but admits he could stand to improve even more and that's why he has called Tampa his home all winter long as he and the Yankees have been working to simplify his swing.

"I've shortened up now, I have a shorter approach now," Battle revealed. "I spread my feet out real wide and it's like hitting a hammer, just taking the bat straight to the ball.

"There's no extra movement or nothing like that. I only have two movements when I'm batting now. I'm still, I load, and I go straight to the ball - a direct path to the ball."

Working with Yankees hitting coordinator James Rowson daily since the Instructional League season ended in November in a pseudo personal mini-camp fashion, Battle says eliminating all the extra movements in his swing - including the pronounced leg-kick he used to have - allows him to stay back longer and see the ball better.

"It feels good," he said of his new mechanics. "I still have my power. I workout every single day so I should still have my power but as far as hitting the ball out of the park, I'm not really concerned about that now.

"I've just got to put the ball in play. If I put the ball in play my average would be so much higher. I still hit it hard."

Extremely pleased with the other facets of his game, Battle is trying to duplicate the same simplistic approach Austin Jackson [his Tampa teammate last season] employed and he believes he is on a similar path with all the hard work he's putting in before the start of the new season.

"I know I'm going to do well," he said confidently. "It's not a make or break year but I've just got to do well regardless. I've just got to stop striking out. I'm confident I can do that. The only thing holding me back is myself."

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\r\n \r\n\r\n\"I think it sucked to be honest with you - did you not see my stats? I didn't do very well,\" Tim Battle said bluntly. \"It was my worst season ever.
\r\n
\r\n\"I wasn't hitting the ball the way I wanted to. I hit it hard a lot but I'd pop up or right at people and get robbed. It's okay though, everybody has a bad season [sometimes].\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile there were some encouraging numbers - 16 doubles, seven triples, nine home runs, and 20 stolen bases - he knows for him to tap his potential he needs to cut down on the strikeouts.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's not too much the outside pitch as much as it is a matter of hitting the right pitches,\" he said. \"Yeah they throw outside and I should be able to hit that pitch, but swinging at good pitches means you don't get out a lot. Swinging at good pitches means you get more balls hard-hit. Swinging at good pitches means you get more balls going where you want them to go.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe made some improvements laying off the breaking balls out of the strike zone but admits he could stand to improve even more and that's why he has called Tampa his home all winter long as he and the Yankees have been working to simplify his swing.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've shortened up now, I have a shorter approach now,\" Battle revealed. \"I spread my feet out real wide and it's like hitting a hammer, just taking the bat straight to the ball.
\r\n
\r\n\"There's no extra movement or nothing like that. I only have two movements when I'm batting now. I'm still, I load, and I go straight to the ball - a direct path to the ball.\"
\r\n
\r\nWorking with Yankees hitting coordinator James Rowson daily since the Instructional League season ended in November in a pseudo personal mini-camp fashion, Battle says eliminating all the extra movements in his swing - including the pronounced leg-kick he used to have - allows him to stay back longer and see the ball better.
\r\n
\r\n\"It feels good,\" he said of his new mechanics. \"I still have my power. I workout every single day so I should still have my power but as far as hitting the ball out of the park, I'm not really concerned about that now.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've just got to put the ball in play. If I put the ball in play my average would be so much higher. I still hit it hard.\"
\r\n
\r\nExtremely pleased with the other facets of his game, Battle is trying to duplicate the same simplistic approach Austin Jackson [his Tampa teammate last season] employed and he believes he is on a similar path with all the hard work he's putting in before the start of the new season.
\r\n
\r\n\"I know I'm going to do well,\" he said confidently. \"It's not a make or break year but I've just got to do well regardless. I've just got to stop striking out. I'm confident I can do that. The only thing holding me back is myself.\"
\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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