SF Giants News

Brandon Belt Going Back To School, Dominican Style

By Bryan Rose
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A few weeks ago we learned that Brandon Belt would be heading to the land of Duane Kuiper’s to play Winter Ball, despite his initial “you’ve got to be kidding me” reaction. The unreceptive Belt had a “talk” with Bruce Bochy and quickly became much more interested in taking part because that’s what good company men do according to the Giants. Just ask some of the previous young players who had similar talks with Bochy and Sabes…

Anyway, off of that rant, Belt (who shared a blog with Mark DeRosa this season) touched on the idea of heading to the DR in his most recent posting and gave a bit of insight to his struggles this season along with what he’ll work on:

"This season, my first in the majors, was not at all what I expected. If I had written out a plan for this season, it would have been the total opposite of what actually happened. It was just a rollercoaster. I was doing well, doing poorly. I was up, I was down. I was healthy, I was hurt. I seemed to go through the entire spectrum.. But I look at it as a learning experience. I know a lot more about what I need to do to play at this level.One of the things I’ve learned is that I have to be in condition to play whatever position they need from me. I conditioned last year to play first base, which meant trying to bulk up and get stronger. At first base, you’re expected to play with power. You don’t need as much speed and endurance. But if you’re not conditioned to play outfield, you’re not going to last the season. So I’ll be playing mostly outfield in the Dominican. And in December and January, when I’m home, I’ll be doing more running and conditioning than I’ve done in the past so I’m better prepared to play the outfield.The main thing I’m going to work on in the Dominican, though, is my swing. Over this season, I’ve made adjustment after adjustment after adjustment so that it all kind of clustered together into one big complicated muddle. There’s so much going on during the season that you can’t really step back and press “reset.’’ You’re just hurtling forward. My mechanics have always been the same, and I lost them somewhere along the way. So I need to untangle the mess and get back to my original form because that’s where I’m at my best. The simplicity will take over and I won’t think about the mechanics as much and I can just go up there and hit."

Belt will take off baseball activities in December and January, though, he’ll still train regularly until Spring Training rolls around.

Other youthful Giants such as Gary Brown and Brandon Crawford headed down to Arizona this past weekend to get ready for Fall ball with the Scottsdale Scorpions. We’ll keep you updated on their progress as games start tomorrow.

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