Griffey, Bonds teaching Matt Joyce to hit ... sort of
Rays outfielder Matt Joyce leaned on some current and former greats this offseason to improve his hitting. Oh, and YouTube also helped.
|Matt Joyce got a little help with this. (Getty Images)|
Hitters leveraging technology to improve their craft is nothing new. Remember those tales about how much time Tony Gwynn would spend glued to the "video machines" of his day? Or Babe Ruth at the "psych lab"? Well, Rays outfielder Matt Joyce has been engaging in a similar practice this offseason, except that he's been doing it in the comfort of his own home as opposed to the dank bowels of the multi-purpose stadium or under the crushing menace of institutional medicine. His secret vessel for knowledge? You've probably heard of it.
MLB.com's Bill Chastain writes that Joyce turned to YouTube of all places and dialed up footage of, among others, Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds, Jose Bautista and Robinson Cano for inspiration and enlightenment.
"I just spent a lot of time studying these guys' swings and what makes them so successful," Joyce told Chastain. "Right now, I'm still in the process of trying to perfect it and get all the kinks worked out. For me, it's exciting, because I feel like I can create a little more bat speed, I can be a little more balanced. And that's the name of the game, stay on the plane a little bit longer of where the pitch is and you're going to have more success."
The 28-year-old Joyce has a career OPS+ of 123 across parts of five major-league seasons, so he's doing just fine on his own. Still, a little expert tutelage never hurts. Might we also recommend that Joyce take some YouTube cues from another lefty-swinging corner outfielder?
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