Steve Baron Vid - Hitting

Shields pointed out this YouTube video, a full 7 minutes' edit, scout-style.

Dr. D is hardly a high school scout :- ) but at the rates youse guys pay, you get full-service shtick on demand.


=== Hitting ===

I was quite taken aback by the plusses here.

Baron doesn't look like a powerfully-built kid at 18 -- surprisingly small legs, frame more like a high school center fielder.  But watch for it and see:  how many hitters do you see who take a nice short path to the ball, and then generate enough batspeed so that the bat whips around and bruises their back?

That's a Jose Canseco signature, actually, back when he was a 40-40 guy.  He'd take a reasonable path to the ball, quick and short, and then keeping both hands on the bat, that thing would whip around so far that he had to have marks on his back at the end of a game...

As posters noted, Baron seemed to have easy HR power to right and right-center.  No idea how big the HS parks were.


Going TO the ball, we'd have to think that Mike Blowers would chuckle at the vid.   Blowers also had a short path to the ball, sink the weight, head nod into the ground ever so slightly at impact... have to admit, Steve Baron's swing looks great to me.  

Shocking.  :- )


So, as you might guess, I have no idea what the scouts are talking about, overhauling his swing from the ground up. 

Granted, he does have a low back elbow during the early part of the swing, which saps power, and he does have a generally static backswing.  But how are those major adjustments?!

True, Baron's CG sits a bit higher than I'd like (a high CG discourages energy release out of the hips and belly).

But his head is down, he gets nice rotational ki out of his front hip load, he's wonderfully balanced, his throughspeed leaves the bathead pointed at the 1B dugout... I'd have to challenge an amigo to specify exactly what it is about the swing that requires some kind of ground-up reconstruction.

Sink the weight a bit, get the abdomen into the party a bit more, have a hitting coach smooth out your backswing ... and I don't see the problem.  Somebody stop meh.


As to what Baron's talent level is... who knows?   How do you tell the difference in talent, between Dan Wilson's bat and Mickey Tettleton's, at 18?

Certainly Baron has got projectable power at the age of 24-25.  His balance and body control, as such, are outstanding.  He's already showing flashes of pro batspeed.

Those are plusses, but of course, Dan Wilson and Mike Blowers had those plusses too.  It meant they were going to become major league ballplayers, which is quite a statement in itself...

All major leaguers looked good at 18.  Beyond that, couldn' say.  Have to ask the M's.

Based on the vid, SSI upgrades its Steve Baron offensive BUY rating by two notches.


Dr D

part 1



shields's picture

It's interesting that you bring up his physical condition, that he looks more like a CF than a catcher.  A lot of draft reports talk about his struggles with his weight, especially pre-2009.  I could've sworn that whenever I saw a picture of him he looked rather squat, but after reading your description of him I can't seem to find any pictures of him looking soft.
It's amazing what the brain can do when you have this mental picture of how you think someone looks.  I suspect we do the same thing with ourselves all the time, failing to see what we really look like when we peer into the mirror.  He looks fine in all these pics, though his legs may be beefed up a bit.


And part of the benefit of having a think-tank around the blog-o-sphere, that we can triangulate the truth ... agreed that any four eyewitnesses could watch the same 18-year-old and describe the rope, wall, snake and rail...
Equal chances that my own impression of Baron as a CF-built kid is the mistaken one...

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