If you remember back to minor league and 2015 Kris Bryant, one of the hallmarks of his game were the prodigious, moon shot homers he would hit the other way. Teams would try to pitch him outside, as they do most young hitters, and Bryant would simply extend those long arms, use the natural levers of his body and his uppercut swing, and drive the ball about one million feet.
Last year, however, going the opposite way with authority was almost entirely removed from his game. That’s not to say it was an issue for the dude who won the NL MVP – instead, it was mostly a reflection of how pitchers were trying to bust him inside, and he kept punishing them for it with a slightly more level swing.
Sure looks like it:
Reach out and crush somebody, am I right?
But, truly, that was just great extension, and crushing a fastball that caught too much of the outer third.
Imagine a world where you cannot pitch Kris Bryant away for fear that he’ll do that, and you cannot bust him inside because he’s getting around on it too quickly (and will destroy you for). That’s probably a world MLB pitchers are hoping they don’t have to live in for the 2017 season.