First Baseman Matt Curry Shortened Leg Kick
The jump from Low-A to Double-A isn’t very common. But the organization thought the 22-year-old could handle it, being drafted in the 16-round by Pittsburgh as a college senior out of TCU in 2010. In fact, Curry was just the third prospect in Curve history to make such a jump in levels. The others: catcher J.R. House and center fielder Andrew McCutchen.
“A-Ball, the guys are still developing,” Curry said about the difference between the two levels. ”Here, these guys know what they are doing, they know how to pitch. They go about the game a different way. Down in Low-A, I got a lot more fastballs. Just because guys are trying to command their fastball down there. They are trying to teach them that you got to be able to work with the fastball to get to the next level. I’d get into counts down there and I knew a fastball was coming so I would just sit there ready.”
While working on his approach during the Fall Instructional League in Bradenton, Fla., Curry decided to make an adjustment in order to bounce back from his disappointing season with Altoona.
“This year I worked on just keeping my head on the ball a little bit longer, just that last little bit,” Curry said. “Last year I would kind of pull off balls a little later that I should have hit hard. I thought I was on them, but they had that late movement. Just trying to keep my head on it a little bit more, just seeing it a little bit deeper.”
“I shortened down my leg kick, which will help with the strikeouts. We tried something in the Instructional League last year. And I did it last year too, it was a bigger leg kick. I was kind of turning a little bit more. It was so big, that when I landed, it kind of pulled me off the ball. I cut that down in spring training, and I’m starting to barrel up balls a lot more. I think it’s a big step for me.”
Although it’s a short time-table, Curry has looked much better at the plate over his two games this season in Double-A. During the Curve’s 4-2 win over the Erie Seawolves on Friday, Curry went 1-for-3 with a single and a walk. In his 2012 debut on Thursday, Curry went 2-for-4 with a run.
The decision to shorten the leg kick was by Curry, and so far he said he’s feeling more comfortable at the plate.
“I kind of threw it out there. I said, ‘Hey. It’s really not working. It’s pulling me off just a little bit because it’s a little bit big.’ I toned it down, and now it’s keeping my head on the ball a little bit more. I’m having more success,” Curry said.
“I tip my hat to him for recognizing that,” Curve Manager P.J. Forbes said. “He struggled last year. He’s trying to make an adjustment…I’m liking what I’m seeing so far.”