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Lindsey taking flight


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There may not be much more hand-wringing over Taylor Lindsey's hands.

 

Lindsey, the Arkansas Travelers second baseman and No. 4 Angels prospect, made some tweaks to his somewhat unorthodox batting stance -- mostly involving where he positions his hands at the start of his stance -- and he's responded with some career power numbers during his first taste of Double-A.

The 37th overall pick in the 2010 Draft, Lindsey is batting .278 and already has 13 home runs after going deep nine times in each of his past two seasons.

"I got stronger this year," said the 21-year-old. "I'm just hitting the ball harder. But that's baseball -- sometimes the ball flies, sometimes it won't find the hole. That's how it goes."

Lindsey was a supplemental first-round pick out of high school in Scottsdale, Ariz., but growing up in the heart of the Cactus League didn't cause him to fall in love with a specific club that trained in the area -- like the Angels, for example -- but it certainly helped whet his appetite for pro ball.

"It was a dream as a kid to be up there, and I didn't care what team got me," he said. "I was going to go out there and play every day and play as hard as I can and just work my way up the ladder and see how it goes."

Lindsey, who signed for $873,000, may have been something of a surprise pick at the time, but he responded with an MVP season for Orem in the Pioneer League and then skipped Class A to bat .289 in the California League, setting the table for his promotion to Arkansas to start this year.

"It's nice to hear all that," Lindsey said of being on an apparent fast track. "But I still have to go out there each day and prove I can hit and play the field and run and do all that stuff. It's still just me, every day, the same guy I've always been. I just go out there and play and have fun like I always do."

While he has good enough hands to play the infield, where to use those hands at the plate has been a work-in-progress. Lindsey likes to dig in with his hands low and then raise them late as he starts his swing. The Angels have been working with him to start with his hands higher.

Lindsey praised the Travelers staff and said he's incorporated some of the pointers without sacrificing any comfort.

"It's a mixture of both, but pretty much they left me alone to do what I want," Lindsey said.

Whatever adjustments he's made, Lindsey has found more power, even in the spacious confines of North Little Rock's Dickey-Stephens Park, where the left-center field gap is 410 feet and straightaway center is 400.

"If it goes down the lines, you've got a chance," said Lindsey, who has five homers at home.

Lindsey was a high school shortstop who's played only second as a pro. But he's mastering the mirror-reverse pivots well enough to be considered a prospect, hands up or hands down.

"It's an honor to be noticed like that," he said. "It's just baseball. You've got to have fun with the game, and good things happen if you have fun."

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

he has now hit more homers than Cron, Trumbo, and Trout playing half his games at the Travs stadium which is a very tough power park.  Pretty impressive considering that he's not even 22. 

 

 

He's doing great but that comparison isn't really as easy as that..  Lindsey bats left -- and while that park is a severe pitchers park the one place where you can hit for power is down the RF line where the wall is only 330 feet away and four feet tall.  Having no idea what his spray chart looks like I don't have any clue whether or not it's been a factor, but it's worth bringing up that he's pulled 53% of his fly balls which is well above the league average.   So, it does appear he may be benefiting to an extent from his home park.

 

Also worth noting as it relates to Grichuk.  Center field is 400 feet away and the left-center alley is 415 feet, when you consider that RG's pull rate on fly balls is 59% (47% league average), there is no denying that park is giving him fits.  His power numbers in that park are actually quite impressive.  Move him to SLC and he may bust out 35+ homers as soon as next year.

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As far as the long ball goes, IP has it right, the majority of Grichuk's HR's tend to be to dead CF or left-center. You have to really get into a pitch to drive it out that direction.  As for Lindsey, he still sprays balls into the gap in left-center and right-center frequently but like any lefty, he LOVES the low and in fastball.  When he drops the bat head on it, that ball can fly.  It's also worth mentioning how much thicker Lindsey is not compared to a year or two ago.  Sort of grew into more of an adult body, which coincides with the age he's reaching, so what you're seeing from Lindsey isn't some fluke, this is who he'll be.

 

The best thing I've seen from both of these players so far this year is that they've both battled.  Lindsey began the year cold, was forced to make some adjustments, he kept grinding and grinding until eventually he got into a groove and understood what pitchers were trying to do with him.  We're seeing the same from Grichuk right now, he's gone a bit cold but he isn't letting it get to him, just keeps working hard.  This is a mature approach.  It's what I'm hoping to see from Cowart this next year because it's truly a mark of someone who's going to be a Major Leaguer. 

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But isn't 330 feet down the line and 4 feet tall basically what Angel Stadium is down the RF line? 

 

 

The point is -- that's the one area that would be viewed as hitter friendly and at worst it's MLB average.

 

That park is ROUGH..   HR index of 66/79 Righty/Lefty -- 100 is average.  To put those into perspective consider this, ATT Park, long considered the least HR friendly in MLB comes in at 65/74 Righty/Lefty.

 

That park deflates offense to a more extreme degree than SLC inflates it.  (93/110 RHB/LHB)

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Keith Law posted this about Lindsey at the AFL...

 

Taylor Lindsey | 2B | Los Angeles Angels
Lindsey has outstanding feel for hitting, with consistently high contact rates thanks to quick hands and a direct path to the ball, but other aspects of his game were lacking in Arizona last week.

At the plate, he's gone from a very short stride to no stride at all, so his swing is all hands and arms and he's cutting off any chance to hit for power. At second base he showed below-average hands and range in either direction, and he's a fringy runner even at full speed. He's just 21 years old and his stats to date are solid for a player his age, but I see a lot of untapped potential here, especially on offense.

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I think I agree fully with Law on that one with the exception of Lindsey's glove and range.  Going up the middle, absolutely, he's below average, but on his glove side he's shown average or above average tools in both areas.  Overall I'd say he's still below average and even though it's nitpicking, I don't think he's as rough at the position as many other scouts.  

 

I mean if you want to see below average, take a look at Cron over at 1B.  Now that's brutal.  I like him as a prospect but my goodness lol. 

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