Welcome to the Pirates Prospects daily video rundown, where we pull some of the top videos of the Pittsburgh Pirates across the internet.
Mitch Keller vs Jack Suwinski
An exciting early camp matchup between Keller and Suwinski took place on Saturday. After years of waiting for Keller to put things together, he finally took that very huge first step forward in 2022.
Mitch Keller vs. Jack Suwinski in a live bullpen. Not only is Suwinski more upright than last season, but he's more open, too. The difference is really apparent from the side angle. He made some loud contact on Keller's second offering. pic.twitter.com/iL8stJv2GU
— Justice delos Santos (@justdelossantos) February 18, 2023
Suwinski debuted a slightly altered batting stance, as noted in the tweet above, standing a bit more upright and open. He finished in a tie for the NL league when it comes to home runs by rookies in 2022.
One of the most electric players in the game, Cruz will look to cut back down on the errors this upcoming season after committing 17 in 79 games at shortstop last season. With one of the strongest arms in the league, it will be the accuracy that will be in question, as 10 of his 17 errors were from throws.
Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz taking ground balls Saturday morning at Pirate City. pic.twitter.com/Eo4DxjTpK0
— Kevin Gorman (@KevinGormanPGH) February 18, 2023
Rich Hill Live BP
The Pirates signed not just one but two free agent starting pitchers this offseason, with Hill being the latter. With over 13 years of service time in his career, he will bring a level of experience to the clubhouse that few around the league can bring.
First three pitches from Rich Hill to Austin Hedges, including a looping curve: pic.twitter.com/K7jj8DCfaM
— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) February 18, 2023
Here’s a quick look at him on the mound, including a close up look at his curveball.
Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.
Of particular note, is that Chris Owings taking grounders at short with Cruz? It’s gotta be.
Seems like every catcher is now going to one knee.
Loud contact, JDS?! At best that sounded like a Texas-leaguer.
In all seriousness, JS’s bat looks slow. Not sure I understand the thought process here. You have a guy who struggled with contact last year; so, let’s add all this pre-pitch, movement to his swing 🤔.
Is this something the Pirates have encouraged, or is it something Suwinski developed during the off season? Rather than work on simplifying bat to ball, he now has more moving parts to sync.
If a hitter is flying open too quickly, I’ve seen coaches try that open to closed pre-pitch movement. But, as you said, all that pre-pitch movement just complicates what should be a simple process. And, any movement could result in a very slight bounce of the eyes.
I’m not a proponent of an open stance. But if Jack is still stepping with his lead foot to the same place he’s always been, it may be a non-issue. May just help him with his sight line, and seeing the ball better.
I don’t think it has anything to do with sight line or seeing the ball better. He’s already on the same side of LH pitcher’s throwing hand; he should be able to see just fine. It probably has more to do with positioning at the point of contact and/or adjusting his positioning to make better contact.
Too drastic of a change in my opinion. I’m still interested in whether this was a recommendation from the Pirates, or where or how he arrived at this new swing.
Nothing like the sound of the crack of the bat in mid February to be reminded brighter days are coming soon. Literally and figuratively.