For Your Perusal: Chris Coghlan on Hitting, and John Baker on Periscope (UPDATE)

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For Your Perusal: Chris Coghlan on Hitting, and John Baker on Periscope (UPDATE)

Chicago Cubs

chris coghlan cubsIf you are not familiar with the (relatively) new app Periscope, I suggest you check it out (No, they won’t pay me for this; and Yes, I’m building to something baseball/Cub-related). Essentially, Periscope is a live streaming app, paired with Twitter, that allows its users to broadcast anything they see and respond to real time questions and comments.

This relates to baseball, because the always interesting John Baker (@manbearwolf) has been using it a lot lately. In fact, he has started his own mini-show entitled #CatchersInterference. If you follow him on Periscope (or Twitter) you will receive updates when he is going to do a live stream. They are typically 5-10 minutes long and focus on 1-2 topics. Usually, he announces the topic ahead of time, but he does responds to questions throughout and it has been both entertaining and educational.

For example, like he just hinted at:

UPDATE [Brett]: I think partly in response to the second half of this very article – there’s a meta-loop going on – here’s what Baker will be talking about in his next #CatchersInterference:


David Laurila recently sat down with Chris Coghlan to talk about hitting in the majors, and it is equally enlightening. Though Coghlan addresses his own experiences and results this year, which have been markedly better over the past couple months, he also dives into hitting in general.

Through his own experiences, Coghlan addresses his swing, hitting against same-sided pitchers, the evolution of his approach, hitting for power and on mechanics and hitting coaches. The most interesting bits come from hitting against same-sided pitchers and the evolution of his approach.

Coghlan is apparently frustrated by his lack of opportunity to hit against lefties this year, though not for the reasons you might immediately assume. Coghlan comes off as a reasonable, intelligent guy who knows that hitting lefties isn’t his strength. Instead Coghlan believes that more opportunities against southpaws can help improve overall because it forces you to keep things short and simple, rather than being too aggressive. (I’m reminded of the success Anthony Rizzo has had in recent years against lefties, and Coghlan was, too.)

On the evolution of his approach, Coghlan acknowledges that his offensive “values” have changes as he has matured as a player. When he was younger, he greatly valued batting average and hits, but as he’s grown he sees the importance of slugging and on-base percentage. “That’s how you win games. You have to get on base to score runs, and you slug to knock them in.” If that wasn’t good enough, he goes on to admit that he still strives to be instinctual and aggressive; that he wants to hit every pitch until his eyes tell him otherwise. I love everything about that explanation and it aligns squarely with this Front Office’s M.O.

There’s tons more in Laurila’s article at FanGraphs, so give it a look.

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami