Patience is a virtue, they say

It never fails. Ask a manager what his young player needs to do to have more success at the plate, and he’ll tell you one thing: more discipline.

That’s something that veteran manager Cito Gaston no doubt talked to Adam Lind about during spring training this year. And the 25-year-old has responded. Lind has been far more patient at the plate in 2009, and it has helped him have a great deal of success thus far.

Through 18 games, Toronto’s designated hitter has seen more pitches per plate appearance (4.7) than anyone else in the majors. The result so far? A .347 batting average (25-for-72) along with a .413 on-base percentage.

Last year, meanwhile, Lind saw an average of only 3.7 pitches per plate appearance en route to posting the following numbers: .282/.316/.439.

His 4.7 average this year is even better than the ‘greek god of walks’ himself. Kevin Youkilis is sitting at 4.1 PPA at the moment.

There’s no question: Lind is seeing more pitches, and he’s waiting longer to hit ‘his pitch.’ So far, it’s paying off.

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Note: Now, there’s a big difference between discipline and simply taking pitches for the sake of taking them. Certainly, there’s been a lot of talk about the difference between Gary Denbo’s teaching and Cito Gaston’s hitting philosophy. For one, Cito is okay with players swinging at first pitches. That is, of course, if that first pitch is in the hitter’s ‘wheelhouse’ (for lack of a better term). But if it’s not, Cito doesn’t want you swinging. Patience leads to better pitches to hit, and/or more walks. Just ask Adam Lind.

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3 Responses to “Patience is a virtue, they say”

  1. Matt Devlin Says:

    Cito Gaston should be given much praise for the elevation of all the Jays’ bats Since he came back last year, the Jays have the third best record in baseball. And as a former batting coach I’m sure he has helped certain guys with their swing from time to time along with their current batting coach – which leads to my question – who IS the Jays’ current batting coach??

  2. eyebleaf Says:

    @ Matt: The one and only Gene Tenace.

  3. TD Says:

    Thanks eyebleaf! And the one and only Nick Leyva is back at third base coach, ready for another Joe Carter world series-winning homer.

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