These days, there is a lot of information available to major league hitters as they prepare for their next game, the next series, or even for the season. Statistics on pitching tendencies can be acquired with relative ease online, and major league teams compile extensive dossiers on their opponents. Video has also been a staple for hitters, as they watch their swings to see if they can notice any mechanical flaws or to try to get themselves back on track.
Naturally, it would make sense that players would attempt to make use of whatever is available to them to make adjustments. As such, it may not be a surprise to hear that Matthew Joyce spent a part of his offseason watching video. However, it may be a bit of a surprise to learn that he turned to YouTube, where, instead of reviewing his swing, he watched the swings of players such as Ken Griffey Jr, Barry Bonds, Robinson Cano and Jose Bautista.
In watching those videos, Joyce feels that he noticed a similarity in the point of impact amongst those players. Right now, he said that he is still working out the kinks in the swing, but he feels that he can generate more bat speed, which may help his hitting rebound after struggling at times last year. Considering how the Rays may be relying upon Joyce to hit behind Evan Longoria and provide protection for him in the lineup, it certainly cannot hurt to attempt to replicate the swings of some of the best hitters in baseball over the past decade.
While there is no guarantee that his will work, it does show a willingness to think outside the box in an attempt to find ways to improve. Even though it is seemingly unlikely, should Joyce turn into a hitter like Cano and Bautista, maybe YouTube will become a major part of a hitter’s regiment.