At the end of June, I noted a change in the swing of Pedro Alvarez. Early in the season, while at Triple-A, Alvarez was barely lifting his front foot off the ground when he started his swing. Upon his arrival in Pittsburgh, he had begun using a much higher leg kick. At the time that the article was published, Alvarez was hitting a paltry .152/.216/.196 with 22 strikeouts in 51 plate appearances. Since that day, he is producing a scorching .339/.406/.742 clip with 7 home runs in 69 plate appearances. Did he make a mechanical adjustment?
Here is the photo that I used in my last article. This pitch was a Carlos Marmol slider that Alvarez chased down and in, coming up empty. Notice his front foot.
Here are the four home runs that Alvarez hit on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Again, I attempted to capture the moment in which his front foot was the highest off the ground.
I do not know for sure whether that front foot is the key to Alvarez’s success. But the circumstantial evidence is compelling, to say the least.
Screenshots courtesy of mlb.com