Today's JS piece centers on Corey Hart, "Hart attacks stamina", honestly I'm surprised they didn't go with something like "Corey has the Hart to tackle stamina". In it Corey blames his September woes on stamina. Which makes sense, he's young and has never played that many games before. Honestly, I think there is more to it.
So with the Brewers down a run in the seventh inning and the bases loaded, up stepped Corey Hart, whose struggles in September already had been documented. But he had yet to produce anything as bad as what followed.
Michael Wuertz threw Hart three consecutive sliders, all below the knees, each one farther away from Hart than the first. The final one ended up in the left batter's box.
Hart flailed at all three, never coming close to touching one.
Yeah, that was awful. Sure, without that moment we wouldn't have had the greatest moment I have ever seen live (Braun's homerun) but it shouldn't of had to come to that. Let's look at Corey's thoughts on that at-bat now.
"I wasn't really praying to get on or praying to get a hit. At that point, I was just praying that it would be in the strike zone and I could put it in play. That's how bad it was."
To me this statement clearly states that when Corey steps up to the plate, he doesn't know what he's doing. He's just swinging. This is echoed by Dale Sveum.
"He has to turn (hitting) into an art form instead of going up there and winging it," Sveum said. "He's what I call a poor-man's Vladimir Guerrero because when it leaves the pitcher's hand, he has a chance to hit it."
Vladimir Guerrero is a freak of nature. He is not a role model for hitters. He can do things that nobody can do. I've seen him hit balls that bounced in front of the plate and take them for a double. Corey Hart can't do that and can't be Vlad. He needs to figure something else out because the pitchers have figured him out. They know he's going to swing as indicated by this study at BCB.
For a guy who spent a lot of time hitting behind Fielder and Braun he was way too willing to swing especially at pitches outside the zone. Swinging at 30% of fastballs outside the zone just isn't going to work. He needs to stop swinging at those and maybe he will get a few more hittable ones. I know Hart simply isn't going to ever walk enough but he has to stop swinging at balls out of the zone.
Blame it on stamina, personal problems or whatever you want, but Corey Hart is going to the plate with a bad approach. No approach and for all the talk about the loss of Sheets and Sabathia, a positive step forward by Hart could go a long way in making that up.