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Q038A- Jeff Manto White Sox Hitting Coac
#1
Jeff Manto stre ses approach over mechanics and believes in letting a hitter be himself. The philosophy is paying dividends for that first-year Chicago White Sox hitting coach, as his team currently ranks sixth in MLB in runs scored and fifth home based runs. A big part of that succe s has been the reemergence of Adam Dunn and Alex Rios, who've flourished under his watch.
Manto shared his thoughts on hitting, and 4 key members of the White Sox lineup, last month at Fenway Park.

Manto on Adam Dunn and confidence: Adam has great athleticism. He really has Ted Karras Jersey a good bottom half in the swing, so that as big because he is, he has great eye-hand coordination despite his strikeouts. He has the opportunity to place a lot of balls in play, although its certainly not happening at this time. And he includes a great swing path.
I would define athleticism, for any hitter, to be able get to all parts from the plate. There are several guys who become too mechanical and strictly be capable of hit middle-in. Athleticism is showing the ability to take a left-handed curveball, or perhaps a left-handed slider, thats down and away and hit it to left-center. Adam can do that.
Adams swing path is I dont determine if traditional is the right word, but its a bat path which comes down through the zone. He has some length in his swing behind him and he has great length in front of him.
I dont think [the length] contributes to his strikeout totals. I believe pitch selection does that for him. Its a timing thing. His swing path is okay.
Why [is he having a good year]? Number one, hes healthy. And despite the whole mechanical some of it, I think he just believes that he can hit again. He believes that he's a superstar and believes that he a good hitter. When you have confidence on top of ability, youre dangerous.
When a guy is struggling, its usually more mental than anything. I firmly believe and Im probably in the minority on this that when you're able to the big leagues, your mechanics are just about fine. I dont think you po se s the perfect mechanics on every swing, but if you have a good approach every evening, you are able to succeed. Everybody at this level has the mechanics to play here.
On Alex Rios and adjustments: Rios, at this time, is really a great hitter. With him and me, it was an evolution of discu sions on which he wanted to do with the ball. As he was spread out in talking to him, his batting stance didnt match what he desired to do with the ball. He desired to drive the ball to any or all fields, jump on top of some breaking balls, and on surface of some fastballs. Being spread out didnt Malcom Brown Jersey permit him to do this. Once we talked, he moved himself and stood up taller. Now he sees a great deal differently and isnt mi sing a whole lot of pitches.
We talked. I wasnt likely to use there and be a hitting coach who demanded that anything got done. We'd conversations and that he believed, and trusted, what we had to say. Thats as he became popular.
Im not really a big video guy. I know that video is e sential and that i realize it plays a major role, but its only a part of the hitting department. Its not solely the hitting department. We didnt look at video, we looked at results. Something we try to do here's worry about the ball. We believe when we be worried about the ball, the ball becomes it is important and mechanics will take care of themselves.
As a hitting coach, Im looking for balls hit hard. If youre squaring the ball up if youre hitting it hard I firmly believe that your mechanics are sound, and your approach is sound.
On Paul Konerko and preparation: Our guys will inform me what their plan's, and when I disagree with that, then well have a discu sion about it. There are some guys on the team who choose to appear middle-in, striking away. Thats not the standard method of method of doing things, but there are plenty of succe sful hitters that do that. The zone you look in varies hitter to hitter.
Paul Konerko, probably [wants the most information on the team]. He loves to see where balls are now being hit. He loves to know what hes doing, because hes this type of conscientious guy. He pays attention to lot of different things. He cares.
What we glance for is where their pitches are, whether hes an arm-side guy or perhaps a glove-side guy. If we know that a man cant throw his fastball to his arm side, well, were looking glove side, and the other way around. Were not going to sit here and try to cover the whole plate. Were looking tendencies. Were looking to see where they throw more often than not.
[Konerko] wants a few individuals involved, but all we do is validate what his plan his. Hes among the superstars that really accepts and appreciates coaching.
On Gordon Beckham and mechanics: Gordon is finally getting his Joe Vellano Jersey mechanics where he is able to sustain 600 plate appearances. This past year was a great deal uphill. His hips were moving quite a bit, but now hes attempting to remain in place more regularly. His lower half was approaching and sliding a bit, and it was dragging his bat through the zone. Hes cleaned that up quite a bit.
When youre running your hips all around the place there's a thousand drills to help you believe that. You would like them to target most on the drills that will help them feel what they need to regulate. And its a commitment. You need to mentally and physically commit to making a spinal manipulation.
In a more general sense, among the downfalls of hitting is that it has become so darn mechanical. I believe there's a place and time for mechanics. When youre coping with so much stre s and so much pre sure at extremely high levels, you have to rely on your approach. Some might argue, but in my estimation, your approach is more important than your mechanics. If you have 40,000 people screaming down your throat, you need to be able to adhere to your approach.
If a hitters approach is correct, and that he cant take action, then its mechanics. That isnt common, because like I said earlier, if youre playing only at that level, you have mechanics. There might be a tweak here or there, but nothing that requires an overhaul. If you need a change, youre not ready to play here.
On letting hitters be themselves: We have 13 hitters and I try to teach 13 various ways. Ill tell 13 different hitters 13 different spots, and 13 different plans. I dont believe there is one way of hitting. In my opinion, a good hitting coach has to teach 13 various ways. Thats things i try to do.
When I played, I had Charlie Brandon Gibson Jersey Manuel and Joe Maddon as hitting coaches, and they both ensured which i handled my strengths. I would like my guys to experience what I experienced. I'd great hitting coaches who let me be me. After i needed to be instructed, they werent afraid to come in and say, Hey, do that, but mostly they allow me to be me.


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