February 20, 2011

Derek Jeter is keeping the change in his swing from the end of last year

Derek Jeter this morning gave me a reason to believe he can have a comeback season in 2011. Jeter will continue to work at the swing adjustment he made last September — eliminating his stride — which helped him finish the season with a .342/.436/.392 hitting line in the last 19 games.

Hitting coach Kevin Long says the change is a result of the rising popularity of the cutter — especially with lefties like Jon Lester.

Jeter is known for his inside-out swing, allowing him to stay inside the ball and shoot it to right field. But even Jeter had trouble rotating his hips in time against the inside cutter last season and it led to all those grounders, Long says.

So will this swing adjustment turn Jeter from an opposite-field hitter into a pull hitter? That’s a little extreme, but Long said he expects more of his hits going to left field than in the past.

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited — excited to see a new Jeter and even more so to have an asset like Long in the dugout.

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