Remember that Shawn Green was a Dodgers .280 lifetime hitter with power (.876 OPS, 162 home runs) before reading through the rest of this post. Furthermore, Green possessed one of the most beautiful and mechanically sound left-handed swings of his generation.
Therefore – when he took the time to break down 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger’s swing on SportsNet Los Angeles – I made sure it was appointment viewing. While you can view the entire segment right here, let’s break down what Green has to say about Bellinger’s swing mechanics.
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) December 10, 2019
Certainly, videos like this may not be for everyone. However, if you do like it, you may enjoy a trip down memory lane when Brant Brown told Dodgers Nation that ‘rookie year Bellinger would be making a comeback in 2019’. Needless to say, Brown was right and then some.
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Moreover, it is the very changes that Brown and the hitting coaches made to Bellinger’s approach that delivered the perfect swing Green breaks down on the SportsNet LA segment. In detail, Green talks about a small adjustment that produced a career year from Bellinger.
“From 2018 to 2019 there’s a very subtle difference, and that’s the key to hitting. In 2018 his front shoulder is closed, front foot is pretty open and his front hip is open. Then in 2019, look at the difference in the front foot. His front foot is open, his hip is open but his front shoulder is closed. With all of this – his hands are still back – and that’s the difference in the power. You get that torque, there’s a wind-up like a spring and you get that extra power.”
Next, Green shows that 2018 Bellinger’s approach was a great set up; but says that will get a hitter to .260 or so with 25 to 35 home runs. Still, he shows the ark of the swings side by side with noticeable differences that produced Bellinger’s landmark statistics.
The biggest difference in the two approaches is that the 2019 version allowed Bellinger’s bat to stay in the ‘hitting zone’ longer.
Weigh in on Bellinger’s Approach
Now that you have had your Dodgers’ hitting clinic for the day, do you believe that Bellinger’s approach changes at all in 2020? If so, what adjustments do you think he will make?