We’ve heard all the jokes, criticisms and general riff-raff about Brett Jackson‘s contact issues during the 2012 season…
It’s time to put the chatter to bed as BJax has clearly put some work in to his swing during the off season. But before I go in to detail about it, I’ll let the video speak for itself.
The first thing that some of you will notice is that he hit every ball. Fine, he made contact in the cage hitting easy balls. Great – who cares. The real meat of this falls in to his stance, his hands and his follow through.
February 11, 2013; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs outfielder Brett Jackson walks over to the batting cages at the Cubs
Firstly, he’s taking a much more relaxed stance a la Anthony Rizzo. A bit more of a backward lean and less drop in the front shoulder means he can square the ball up much better than before. It also makes it easy to keep both eyes on the ball, as opposed to squeaking a view out of the corner of his lead eye.
Secondly, he’s eliminated a lot of that pre-swing noise with his hands. No significant bat waggle or floating around the waist line, just clean up to the resting cocked position.
Most significant of all the changes is the reduced leg kick. While there are many different opinions of batting stances, I personally like to see as little extraneous motion as possible and BJax has really trimmed up his stance. There is still a bit of forward motion with the trigger kick and this is perfectly appropriate, but it’s nice to see him eliminate this needless high kick.
Other than that, his hands seem to be staying nice and level like before, but they’re in a bit tighter to his body. This is probably just a comfort thing as he’s keeping both hands on the bat through his follow-through and is turning his wrists in a nice fluid motion. Not much different from his previous stance.
Jackson has said he’s committed to cracking in to the major league roster this season and this new swing shows that he’s been working hard during the off season.
Kudos on the new swing, Brett. Looks great.