Willing and able to adjust
Baseball is the ultimate game of adjustments. Instant success happens all the time in MLB, yet, continued success is a whole other feat. It’s the players that are able to frequently adjust that are able to sustain big league success.
At young ages and already fully exposed, Mazara and Gallo have shown the ability to make adjustments. Mazara’s most notable adjustment is his approach against left-handed pitchers.
Last season, he slashed .228/.286/.317 against southpaws. In addition, he hit only one home run in 123 at-bats against lefties. Fast forward to May 3rd, 2018 and Mazara is slashing .314/.351/.543 against left-handers. He has already doubled his home run total against lefties from last season, in only 35 at-bats.
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Joey Gallo is still doing his thing: hitting a bunch of home runs and recording a bunch of strikeouts. That’s unlikely to change. Simply put, Gallo’s upper-cut swing path is naturally going to result in a lot of strikeouts. However, it’s the little adjustments Gallo is making that standout.
He’s laying off pitcher’s pitches, working himself into favorable counts and looking for a pitch that he knows he can drive. Gallo also deserves some credit for his efforts to counteract the shift. He has shown bunt on multiple occasions this season, one of which did result in a single.
Surely Jeff Banister would prefer his top power hitter to swing for the fences; though, Gallo’s bunting efforts at the very least prove his awareness and selflessness at the plate.