Hilligoss Focusing On More Power

Despite being one of the best hitters in the Yankees organization - and even before he heard about the lack of home run power from his critics - third baseman Mitch Hilligoss wanted to improve his power production. That was his focus throughout the offseason and it remains his mantra now that Spring Training has started.

An incredibly smart hitter, one who listens to his coaches, Mitch Hilligoss and the Yankees started talking about taking a few more pitches in his at-bats in an effort to get more inside pitches to drive instead of just swinging at [and hitting] pitches outside of the zone.

The other part of the equation in increasing his power potential was to add some strength to his upper-body over the offseason.

Reporting for the official start of minor league camp on Monday, Hilligoss promptly deposited five home runs in his first batting practice session and he was swinging the bat with a lot more authority.

"That's something I needed to do, especially upper body-wise, [to] get stronger and more flexible in my lower-half, and working on getting that inside pitch," said the left-handed hitter. "I left Charleston at 205 and now I'm at 207 [pounds]. It's not much. Hopefully it's fat weight that I got rid of."

Looking more chiseled in his upper-body, Hilligoss knows the majority of increasing his power is going to come from better pitch selection.

Possessing some of the best plate coverage and pitch recognition in Pinstripes, Hilligoss told us he hasn't changed his swing after his first session in the cages on Monday.

"It's the same swing, it's the outside pitch and the inside pitch we're trying to get to," said the 2007 Charleston third baseman. "Just getting better overall and getting ready for Opening Day, that's the biggest thing I'm working on.

"I feel good, getting back in shape here a little bit. Lots of ground balls, lots of leg work today, that's all part of it."

Looking quite different in the cages on Monday in comparison to a year ago, and appearing to be every bit the part of a developing slugger, he also understands it is just part of a process and that the road to transforming his game has just begun.

"Obviously pitch selection is big," he said of increasing his power. "The power is going to come I hope. Batting practice is a little bit different than the games so we'll have to wait and see."


Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nAn incredibly smart hitter, one who listens to his coaches, Mitch Hilligoss and the Yankees started talking about taking a few more pitches in his at-bats in an effort to get more inside pitches to drive instead of just swinging at [and hitting] pitches outside of the zone.
\r\n
\r\nThe other part of the equation in increasing his power potential was to add some strength to his upper-body over the offseason.
\r\n
\r\nReporting for the official start of minor league camp on Monday, Hilligoss promptly deposited five home runs in his first batting practice session and he was swinging the bat with a lot more authority.
\r\n
\r\n\"That's something I needed to do, especially upper body-wise, [to] get stronger and more flexible in my lower-half, and working on getting that inside pitch,\" said the left-handed hitter. \"I left Charleston at 205 and now I'm at 207 [pounds]. It's not much. Hopefully it's fat weight that I got rid of.\"
\r\n
\r\nLooking more chiseled in his upper-body, Hilligoss knows the majority of increasing his power is going to come from better pitch selection.
\r\n
\r\nPossessing some of the best plate coverage and pitch recognition in Pinstripes, Hilligoss told us he hasn't changed his swing after his first session in the cages on Monday.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's the same swing, it's the outside pitch and the inside pitch we're trying to get to,\" said the 2007 Charleston third baseman. \"Just getting better overall and getting ready for Opening Day, that's the biggest thing I'm working on.
\r\n
\r\n\"I feel good, getting back in shape here a little bit. Lots of ground balls, lots of leg work today, that's all part of it.\"
\r\n
\r\nLooking quite different in the cages on Monday in comparison to a year ago, and appearing to be every bit the part of a developing slugger, he also understands it is just part of a process and that the road to transforming his game has just begun.
\r\n
\r\n\"Obviously pitch selection is big,\" he said of increasing his power. \"The power is going to come I hope. Batting practice is a little bit different than the games so we'll have to wait and see.\"
\r\n
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