Alex Rodriguez: Kevin Long’s Small Tweaks Are Paying Off In Big Ways

August 15, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees


Last night, Alex Rodriguez shined brightly in the New York Yankees 8-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals by crushing three home runs.  They were also done in three consecutive at bats.  It was the fourth time in his career that he has done such, the first time since 2005 against Bartolo Colon and the Anaheim Angels.

Curtis Granderson also went deep, giving Yankee fans something to cheer about.  I mean, who isn’t rooting for this guy?

What do both of the performances have in common: They were the results of revamped swings courtesy of Yankees hitting guru Kevin Long.

Granderson, who has been struggling mightily this year, went to Kevin Long asking for advice.  The most observable difference in his swing is that he is starting his hands back more.  Also, his new swing, according to Granderson himself, will “eliminate some of the moving parts.” (Bryan Hoch, Yankees.com)

With his new swing, Granderson went 2-3 in his first game, 1-5 in game two, and 1-5 yesterday with a home run, giving him a .384 average post Long’s advice.

In Alex Rodriguez’s case, Long wants Alex to use 100 percent of his hips instead of 70 percent. The results last night were staggering.

“It was about clearing my hips,” Rodriguez said. “It was nice to actually get some good work and carry it into the game. … He thought my hips weren’t coming through and basically trying to come through about 70 percent. He got them to 100 percent, and I think it really helped.” (Yankees.com, Bryan Hoch).

Kevin Long also worked with Mark Teixeira, who was struggling a great deal at the beginning of the season.  Long called it something so small, comparing it to a millimeter.  According to Long, his legs were too close together and his head was not staying still, causing him not to completely see the ball.

“That’s half the battle,” Teixeira said. “Seeing the ball. And by widening up my stance, it allowed me that, to get a better view. I picked it up right away.” (Newark Star-Ledger, Mike Mazzeo).

Since then, Teixeira has been hitting like the Mark Teixeira that Yankee fans have come to know and love.

Nick Swisher also spent last off season with Kevin Long, working on his swing after hitting only .128 in the 2009 postseason.  This year, Swisher is hitting .296 with 22 home runs and 67 RBI, while being selected to the All-Star game with the final vote.

Robinson Cano also spent time in the Dominican Republic with Long, making tweaks to his swing, closing his stance, and learning to become a much more patient hitter.  This work has clearly paid off, with Cano being the most consistent hitter the Yankees have had this season.  He is hitting .324 with 21 home runs and 73 RBI in his first year as the number five hitter in the Yankee lineup.

The Yankees have themselves a great hitting coach in Kevin Long.  Always upbeat, positive, and full of energy, he has been doing his job at an elite level.  Kevin Long deserves a lot of credit for the Yankees success at the plate, especially this year.

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