The Ever-Changing Batting Stance of Colby Rasmus
Is there anyone on the Toronto Blue Jays roster who has had more batting stances than Colby Rasmus?
Since his arrival in Toronto in mid-season of 2011, I don’t think I’ve seen another player whose swing has been tinkered with more or who’s had more batting stance adjustments.
It’s not all that surprising as Colby Rasmus has been under the guidance of three different hitting coaches the past three seasons with the Blue Jays (Kevin Seitzer, Chad Mattola, Dwayne Murphy), and five hitting coaches total in his six season career.
Five different hitting coaches means five completely different hitting philosophies, five different voices in his head, and subsequently Colby Rasmus has just as many (if not more) different batting stances.
The Sportsnet broadcast picked up on this a few days ago and Jeff Blair mentioned this on Baseball Central on Monday, but it appears as though Colby Rasmus is sporting yet another modified batting stance.
Colby Rasmus may not be the proverbial man of a thousand batting stances like Cal Ripken Jr. was, but over the past few years his stance has been ever-changing. To the best of my ability, I attempted to identify each of Colby Rasmus’ batting stance changes since then.
|Click to embiggen|
Check out a GIF comparison of some of Colby’s swings courtesy of the multi-talented @Mattomic and a retrospect on his batting stances after the jump.
|Courtesy of @Mattomic|
This was during Colby Rasmus’ rookie season in St. Louis. A very upright stance with his hands nearly at shoulder height and the bat almost resting on his shoulder.
Although it’s not pictured here, this is when Rasmus had a very pronounced leg kick during his wind-up, not unlike what you see today from Jose Bautista.
The following season marked the first drastic change in Colby’s batting stance. Here, he’s opened up his stance much more and his hands are up even higher in his set position.
I can’t quite tell if it’s the camera angle or not, but it also looks like Rasmus has staggered his feet in the batter’s box as well.
2012 saw Colby Rasmus revert back to the batting stance he adopted in his rookie season in St. Louis. His hands come come down a little bit, but overall they’re still fairly close to his body.
I think this change in the summer of 2012 was the first noticeable change in Colby’s stance that saw a dramatic improvement. Rasmus adopted a much more upright approach, and his hands are much higher and further away from his body than ever before.
It’s something that Drew documented very well for Getting Blanked back in the day, and he also noticed in addition to standing more upright, Colby also moved much closer to the plate in the batter’s box.
Just a small tinker here, where Colby’s hands come down a bit and inward towards his body, and he holds the bat almost level on his shoulder.
To begin this season, Colby Rasmus went back to a modified version of the stance he took on in 2012, except now his hands are noticeably much further away from his body and practically right over the middle of the plate.
All the while, Colby is keeping his arms nearly parallel to the ground (which can’t be very comfortable). Also of note, it looks like Rasmus has backed away from home plate ever so slightly.
For whatever reason, I guess Kevin Seitzer felt Colby Rasmus’ stance needed adjusting, because just last week Colby tinkered with his batting stance again. His hands are back close to his body, still somewhat low, and the bat is resting on his shoulder.
As far as I can tell, Rasmus began using this stance at the beginning of last week’s road trip in Kansas City.
It may be a small sample size, but the latest change has brought some noticeable results as Rasmus has hit three home runs in the past five games and collected 10 hits in 28 at bats during that road trip through Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Image courtesy of MLB Scouting Reports