Christian Vazquez has had quite the successful season, averaging .282 at the plate with 47 RBIs and 16 home runs in 2019.
But before his current hot streak, the Boston Red Sox catcher was struggling at the plate. In 2018, he batted .207 with just 16 RBIs and three home runs through the entire 182-game season.
“I think last year my swing was downhill,” he said, per the Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams. “It was a lot of ground balls there and a lot of rollovers. Just bad habits.”
So he decided it was time to take a deeper dive into the mechanics of his swing. And once he met up with Lorenzo Germania, who was recommended to Vazquez by an unidentified former Colorado Rockies outfielder, things started to click.
“I focused on the angle, launch angle and all that stuff,” Vazquez said. “Why not? Everyone is doing it.”
Red Sox assistant hitting coach Andy Barkett has noticed a marked difference in Vazquez’s approach at the place.
“His approach to the ball and the movements of his body have changed,” he said. “He used to kind of cut the ball, more of a direct path to the ball. He would be able to hit it all the time but his barrel a lot of times wouldn’t stay in the zone long enough. Now he’s really getting behind the ball early and able to stay through the ball and hit it with backspin.”
After all, Vazquez said he had “nothing to lose” by giving it a try.
“I hit .207 last year. If I hit the same (so be it),” he said. “If I hit better, it’s a plus for us.”