A New Day for Luke Scott | The Process Report

A New Day for Luke Scott

Luke Scott entered Saturday’s contest hitting .175/.214/.250 in the month of June. The lack of production and loud footsteps of Wil Myers, had some wondering if the 34-year-old’s time was running out in Tampa Bay. Naturally, Joe Maddon penciled him in third in the lineup against the Royals, and gave his primary designated hitter the start in left field; something that had not happened since July of 2011.

Scott is an emotional player. This can cause his feelings to bleed over onto the field in physical form. If you recall, Scott ended an 0-43 slump last summer with a home run. As he made contact with the pitch, he turned and lowered his head in frustration believing he had made another out. Similar displays of frustration have been common over the last few weeks.

Perhaps in an effort to get Scott—a noted over-thinker at times—to “try easier” Maddon gave him added responsibilities. In theory, this would leave the player with less time to focus on the negative. Aside from the mental mechanics, Scott also showed some physical adjustments against Kansas City.

Somewhere along the way, Scott opened his batting stance as a member of the Rays. The benefits of an open stance—especially for an older player—include increased sight line to the pitcher and additional help on inside pitches. As a player loses bat speed, opening their stance can help them cheat on the heat.

As Scott got into position to hit on Saturday, he took a more neutral stance at the plate with his foot foot nearly even with his back foot. This represented a change from the stance he used less than a week ago on Sunday. Scott also appears to be using a different bat, although how different is unknown.

scottstance

From watching additional video, it appeared as if Scott may been opening up prematurely during his slump. Though not as pronounced as Shelley Duncan, it looks like he might have at times opened his hips a bit early, causing weaker contact. On Saturday—with the new stance—it looked as if he was able to keep his hips in a bit better which allowed him to stay in the zone longer and generate additional power.

impact

*For a quick cheat, check Scott’s belt. Notice the additional white on the right (Saturday).

Yogi Berra said baseball is 90 percent mental with the “other half” being physical. This seems to be true for Luke Scott as well; at least 110 percent of the time.



3 Comments

  1. […] June (14-16) in an apparent attempt to get his mind off his struggles at the plate. Along with some mechanical adjustments, he owns a 1.094 OPS with 14 extra-base hits in the 23 games since he played the field. Mental […]

  2. […] from the mental adjustments, Scott also tinkered with his hitting mechanics including an altered, more closed batting stance. During the first […]

  3. […] some of the self doubt Longoria has by his facial expressions at the plate, much like Luke Scott demonstrated during his trying times in […]

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