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San Francisco Giants Mac Williamson has a New Swing

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 10: Matt Cain #18 of the San Francisco Giants and teammates warm up before the spring training game against the Cleveland Indians at Scottsdale Stadium on March 10, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 10: Matt Cain #18 of the San Francisco Giants and teammates warm up before the spring training game against the Cleveland Indians at Scottsdale Stadium on March 10, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
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San Francisco Giants outfielder Mac Williamson is not coming into Spring Training with the same approach hoping for different results. Rather, he is retooling his swing. The results so far have been encouraging.

Every year, players coming into Spring Training claiming to have a new approach to baseball. Perhaps, they are in the best shape of their life. Or, they are trying a new diet or exercise routine which will lead to better performance.

Not often does a player come into Spring Training with a new, retooled swing. However, that is exactly how Mac Williamson is approaching this spring.

Williamson, formerly a third round pick out of Wake Forest University, has potential. Despite this, he has not shown the durability or the consistency to realize his potential. It can be argued that he has not been given much an opportunity as well. He only has 212 Major League at-bats scattered across three seasons.

In addition to this, his 2017 season was dreadful and mostly forgettable. Regardless, it did end with a bang after consulting with a teammate.

With the recommendation of Tim Federowicz, Williamson did reach out to a hitting guru named Doug Latta. Latta has retooled Justin Turner‘s swing, and it appears he is applying the same lessons to Willamson’s swing.

Williamson’s hands are lower giving him a better chance to put the ball in the air. Additionally, he has added a noticeable leg kick to his swing. These adjustments did not go unnoticed as Alex Pavlovic compares Williamson’s swing to Justin Turner’s.

The purpose of these adjustments is to improve Williamson’s launch angle. Launch angle is the new, hip phrase the cool kids are using. If you want to be cool and hip, then read up on launch angle.

Williamson has been an extreme ground ball hitter, and that is not exactly the recipe for success. When everyone was trying to put the ball in the air last season, Williamson was still pounding the ball into the ground. Especially for a hitter like Williamson, hitting more fly balls will enable him to tab into his power potential.

The results so far have been encouraging. He is batting .357 with a 1.214 OPS including two home runs this spring. In today’s game, he launched a 430-foot double that would be a home run in any ballpark that does not have a 30-foot wall in center field.

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Spring Training statistics can be a tricky thing, though. Especially for hitters, it is difficult to make any conclusions or projections about how a player will perform in the regular season.

Despite this, Williamson is off to a nice start. He is capturing the attention of the Giants coaches with his new approach.

Regardless, he will likely start the season in Sacramento, and that is not a bad thing. With a new, retooled swing, he will need a lot of at-bats to adjust and get comfortable.

Next: Jensen showing his power

A new swing and stance may not change the results. Up until this point, Williamson’s career has been disappointing. The fact that he sought help from a hitting guru, and his ensuing performance is intriguing. And, he will be a player to follow as the regular season starts, whether in the Majors or in AAA.

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