Meet Robert Van Scoyoc, probably the most fascinating man on the Dodgers | MLB


It might need been relegated to the Transactions (keep in mind them?) in every day newspapers (or them?).

The Dodgers introduced Wednesday the hiring of 4 new coaches on supervisor Dave Roberts’ employees for 2019.

4 names, 4 jobs. No massive deal. And but … the Robert Van Scoyoc rent, famous, instructions probably the most intrigue.

Listed here are 5 causes to nerd out over a hitting coach:

— Van Scoyoc, 32, did not play baseball past faculty, however together with Craig Wallenbrock, working in Santa Clarita, Calif., gained a word-of-mouth fame as they have been on the vanguard of a revolution on methods for hitting. They preach maintaining the bat’s swing path by way of the strike zone for so long as doable and lifting the ball within the air (suppose: launch angle). These are ideas the Dodgers first began to undertake when Scoyoc and Wallenbrock served as consultants in 2016 and ’17 and, like most of MLB, have wholly embraced now.

— What Van Scoyoc affords generally will be mocked by the old-school “see ball, hit ball” brigade, however he is actually much less of a guru and extra of what pitchers have had for years: a employees member who research mechanics and analytics, opposition tendencies and weaknesses after which formulates how one can assault them individually. Besides it is for hitters as an alternative of pitchers.

— His hiring, to exchange extra standard hitting coach Turner Ward, comes after Van Scoyoc’s solely season on an MLB employees. He served because the Diamondbacks’ “hitting strategist” in 2018. In that newly created function, based on, he was tasked primarily with analyzing swings — on the sector throughout video games, within the cage throughout batting observe and within the video room nearly continually — and offering individualized, data-centric methods on how one can assault opposing pitchers.

— Nevertheless, it was a former Diamondback who was Van Scoyoc’s finest resume entry. J.D. Martinez started working with Van Scoyoc after the 2013 season. By getting Martinez 5 years in the past to reposition his palms, undertake a extra athletic stance and embrace the advantages of launch angle, Van Scoyoc turned him right into a .330/.402/.629 slashing monster in the course of the world champion Crimson Sox’s lineup, an All-Star and Silver Slugger who completed fourth in 2018 AL MVP balloting.

— A caveat, Dodgers followers: The theories — maintaining the bat within the hitting zone and driving the ball within the air — can contain dramatic mechanical adjustments, together with including leg kicks or altering the way in which a hitter’s palms “load” earlier than his swing begins. Enchancment is not at all times rapid or regular. In actual fact, in Van Scoyoc’s lone season with the Diamondbacks, the workforce underperformed — and hitting coach Dave Magadan was fired.

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