San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt Credits New Grip With Success At Plate
The San Francisco Giants are not having the season that the team would have hoped for after winning the World Series last year. Their players have been inconsistent at best, and their division rivals have been all-around better on the mound and at the plate this season.
First baseman Brandon Belt has been having a troubled season as well. Belt has bounced out of the lineup and a few times was almost pushed back to Triple-A Fresno. However, his recent success this season is credited to his new grip at the plate, which has helped him hit a career-high 13 home runs this season.
Giants hitting coach Hensley Meulens encouraged Belt to talk to another top prospect in the same class: Philadelphia Phillies‘ emerging star Domonic Brown. Brown told Belt about how he changed his grip to help his swing and since he changed it, Brown has belted a career-high 26 home runs.
Since readjusting and talking with his hitting coach, manager Bruce Bochy and Brown, Belt has been on fire. He has batted .438 with three home runs in his last 10 games. In 109 games this season, Belt has almost been as valuable as he was last season through 149 games. His WAR current is at 2.6, while it was at 2.8 last season.
Belt also has the benefit of hitting behind reigning National League MVP Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval. Both players are having struggles of their own as well this season, which may be why the Giants sit 52-65 in the NL West, 15 games out of first place.
If Belt continues to progress, it will sure be fun to watch him in 2014.