Juan Perez – Then and Now Doug Gray December 4, 2012 21 Comments Juan Perez got off to a slow start to the season. He hit .219/.322/.343 between April and May with Dayton. He did show good plate discipline, drawing 24 walks and striking out just 24 times. Things picked up in June and he hit .270/.341/.428 from June through the end of the year with Dayton. I had a chance to see Perez in April and in August and have video from both time frames. That of course doesn’t pinpoint any change made, so I went to Milb.tv to watch games from each week until I spotted the change that I saw in my video clips. At some point between the end of May and the end of the first week of June, Perez did make a change at the plate mechanically. It coincides very well with the change in production. Let’s first take a look at his approach from April. There are three frames here. The set up seconds before the pitch. The set up as he begins to lift his front foot. And finally the set up as his front foot gets back down to the ground. Now let’s look at the same set up from the time in August. Now, the biggest things we can see here is the back elbow change. In April he began with his elbow much higher earlier in his set up and kept it higher throughout the entire set up until he drops his hands to swing. With his elbow being lower, his hands are also staying a little bit lower. In April his hands are a little bit higher than his shoulder, while in August they are a little bit lower and about even with the shoulder. The changes seem to lead to less distance for his hands and arms to travel to get to the point of swinging. One thing that we don’t see in this set up, but will below in the side-by-side video is the leg kick that was virtually eliminated from his swing. Video While the angles are different, you can really see the differences between the two swings. The changes coincide quite well with the improvements after May was over. The plate discipline wasn’t quite the same before and after the swing changes, but it was still solid after the swing change and the hitting numbers were vastly different. 21 Responses foxbud December 4, 2012 Off topic… but there it is. Dusty will get Chapman back to the pen if it is the last thing he does. I love Dusty interviews…. Doug Gray December 4, 2012 Doesn’t surprise me. At every chance he has ever been given, Dusty talks about Chapman and the bullpen. Since day 1. Jon Ryker December 4, 2012 It seems to me they’re lining up to trade Chapman and Stubbs for a leadoff hitter who plays CF…. jim t December 4, 2012 don’t think so Jon. They have a CF and he is about a year away. With Victorino heading to Red sox. I’m guessing the only move the reds make at these meetings is signing Ludwick. Alan Horn December 4, 2012 Jim, I think we are now on the same page. Sign Ludwick and don’t waste any top prospects in a trade with Hamilton so close. Chances are we will need Leake, Cingrani and Corcino before the season is over. You can never have enough pitching. Watch Didi a while longer and then make a decision. If we can get Coco Crisp in a reasonable(very) trade, I might go that route. jim t December 4, 2012 If Chapman pitches well as a starter he will be in the rotation. Also plenty of baseball people think Chapman should stay in bull pen.Dusty is far from alone in his thought process. Alan Horn December 4, 2012 I’m 50/50 on it. He certainly is one of the most dominant closers in the game. That side says don’t mess with success. On the other hand, he has always been a successful starter(although not at the ML level). That side says to give him a shot. If successful, he has a chance to be one of the most dominant starters in the game. (which has more value in my opinion). What if the Reds had kept Don Gullett as a reliever? He would have been fine, but he lead a pitching staff to 2 world series championships as a starter. Chapman can always be moved back to closing if necessary. JIM T December 5, 2012 Alan it will be a very interesting ST. Who plays CF,Who leads off,What happens to Leake,who are the back up middle infielders, lots of things going on. sultan of swaff December 4, 2012 A much more efficient swing–everything is just quieter. Fewer moving parts means less can get thrown off. Tends to lessen slumps. Doug Gray December 4, 2012 Yeah, I am always a fan of the “simpler is better” approach to swings. Quiet and short. There are plenty of guys who can work with movement and such, but I will always prefer quiet, short and fewer moving parts if possible. Herbie December 4, 2012 Evidently David Price is available. I think what we have most of, pitching, is what they least need though. Terry M December 4, 2012 BA has the REDS as the org. of the year for 2012..Not a premium article.. Krozley December 4, 2012 That is a really nice article. Side note: Dave Miley was minor league manager of the year. jim t December 4, 2012 Victorino got 39 mil for 3 years. Unbelieveable. Doug Gray December 4, 2012 The money that teams are throwing around right now is ridiculous. Joey Votto’s current contract is an absolute steal at this point. jim t December 4, 2012 According to Fay it looks like the Reds are closing in on a deal for Ludwick. That leaves bench and Lead off hitter as things to do before the season starts. They are also exchanging numbers on longterm deals with Bailey and Latos. can’t believe they will be spending big bucks through trade or free agent on Lead off hitter with Hamilton as close as he is to ML’s. My opinion is we use BP as lead off and wait on Hamilton. Paul and Heisey are the spare outfielders leaving 2 back up infielders a lefty in the pen as the openings they need to fill. Alan Horn December 4, 2012 I agree Jim, good analysis. Foxbud December 4, 2012 There is still Parra. I would lead him off and I would spend a Span type trade chip on him. They have been talking with AZ. It may be Kubel as a fall back for Ludwick but I would think Parra is who they really want. wanderinredsfan December 5, 2012 What about Cozart for Parra and a prospect arm, like say LHP Andrew Chafin. Cozart fills a huge need for Ariz., while Parra could slide into CF, with Stubbs starting against lefties. Chafin could move up the ladder quickly as a reliever. JIM T December 5, 2012 Wanderin, I still don’t believe that Parra is the guy we are talking to AZ about. I think it is Upton. If ludwick wants a 3 year deal I find it hard to believe he gets signed. Now a 2 year with a club option I can see. If they can’t come to a agreement Upton has to be on our radar. Jim Delaney December 5, 2012 I am hopeful Reds are checking on Parra and agree Cozart as key to deal makes a lot of sense. Also, assuming Castellini would be willing to increase payroll I would be checking on Ellsbury and Granderson. With the signing of Victorino, Boston has set the stage that they will have a CF when they trade Ellsbury, it may not be now but it will be prior to end of July. He is a Boras client who is motivated to have a huge year. I start offer with Cozart and see what else Boston wants. Add Ellsbury and REDS are sitting pretty in 2013.. If you can’t get Ellsbury, Granderson a bigger contract who doesn’t lead off but he is a big upgrade in offensive production over Stubbs. You acquire a Ellsbury or Granderson you call the Mets and see what they are willing to give up for Stubbs. Maybe a Daniel Murphy, he would give you a nice bat to play 3b against RHP and an insurance policy for Votto and Phillips. I am pessimistic not much will happen but am keeping my fingers crossed.