Jul
29

Mark Teixeira’s new stance

By

As I was watching the Yankees pound Fausto Carmona last night, something caught my eye. To make sure I wasn’t crazy, I consulted both Joe and Ben, who confirmed my suspicion: Mark Teixeira has opened his stance. Not from last year either, I’m talking about from just last month. Given his horrible start and recent hot streak, it makes sense that he and Kevin Long tinkered and made some adjustments to help right the ship, but usually the untrained eye can’t pick those adjustments up.

Of course, I had to confirm this first. In order to avoid any issues with camera angle and what not, I screen cap’d at-bats from two home games. The top image comes from the June 2nd game vs. Baltimore (the Phil Hughes-Brad Bergeson matchup), and bottom is the July 16th game vs. the Rays (the first game after the break). Make sure you click for a larger view…

You can see Jamie Shields bending over to fix his pant leg in the bottom image. Tex is at the start of a practice swing in the meantime, which is why his hands are a bit lower, but his feet do not move at all. I just wanted to make sure I got the batter’s box in the shot to use as a reference, and Shields was in the way whenever he was on the rubber. Tex’s hands go back to their usual spot once the Shields gets ready to throw the pitch.

So anyway, you can clearly see that Tex has opened up. His front foot is closer to the edge of the batter’s box, and there’s more real estate between his feet. There are plenty of reasons why a batter would open up his stance, but the first two are obvious. First and foremost, it helps the batter see the ball better simply by providing a better line of sight towards the pitcher. Perhaps it’s helped Tex recognize offspeed pitches earlier in the pitch’s flight, he definitely doesn’t seem to be overwhelmed by them like he was in April and May.

Secondly, opening the stance helps the batter get around better on pitches in the inner half. Tex has been pulling more balls to rightfield with authority lately (spray chart during struggles, and after), hence his increased power performance. Although we know that correlation does not equal causation, it does stand to reason that opening his stance has helped Tex do a better job of getting the fat part of the bat on inside pitches.

I haven’t checked to see if Teixeira has also opened up when batting righthanded, but I’m not too concerned about that. Righthanders were killing him earlier this year, but he was performing well against southpaws. I’m not saying this new stance is why the Yanks’ first baseman has turned his season around over the last month or so, but it’s certainly interesting to see.

Categories : Analysis

24 Comments»

  1. ZZ says:

    They talked about this on YES during the game a week or two ago.

  2. CountryClub says:

    This is definitely the case. O’neill talked about it last weekend. He explained how opening the stance of a guy that’s been pulling off the ball actually forces him to go at the ball. He said you would think opening the stance would make it worse, but it doesn’t.

  3. CountryClub says:

    BTW, they didnt mess with his stance from the other side of the plate because they said he’s been on from that side almost all yr.

  4. nathan says:

    I donno if this is a weird statement to make but, Tex’s pre-swing stance and his overall appearance at the plate is one of the most awkward i have seen. I am not saying from a technical standpoint just from an aesthetic standpoint, it appears to me most of the time that he has been forced to stand there.

    • CS Yankee says:

      Disagree…

      Mattingly’s book on hitting shows that Teix is quite similar to Donnie whereas the bat, shoulder and back leg all align and the load keeps the front foot light to create an impact like a cobra (as it strikes).

      The difference is Donnie would raise the front leg as part of his timing mechanism and Teix will keep it light or stride to close it somewhat. This is when Teix was a Ranger.

  5. larryf says:

    He keeps stretching out trying to reach that Damon front foot-not easy. The overshifts are getting crazy too. Can’t complain about the results though…

  6. mike c says:

    the right-handed stance is even more open than the lefty from what i’ve seen, i thought it looked pretty odd, but the hitting does not. i also think granderson’s stance has changed significantly as of late, way quieter, less movement at the plate, a lot like the changes swisher has made this year

  7. Cam says:

    Noticed this about a week ago. One aspect of his stance that always caught my eye was the way he rested his chin on his right shoulder when he was batting left handed. He doesn’t do it righty. His front shoulder was very closed so to get both his eyes in front he had to stretch his neck and get that chin on his shoulder. Just a little weird to me. I noticed last week that his chin was no longer on his shoulder which makes sense because of the new open stance. I don’t think his right handed stance is different at all, it looked normal in tonight’s game against Perez.

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