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Swing Analysis
Yoennis Cespedes

12/12/2011

One name that has gotten a lot of press is that of Cuban outfielder Yoennis Cespedes. Since multiple teams are considering giving him big dollars, I thought I'd take a quick look at his swing.

Video Clip of the Swing of Yoennis Cespedes

Yoennis Cespedes

At first glance, Yoennis Cespedes has a nice swing that certainly produces good results. For instance, he gets to a very nice position at the Point Of Contact (POC). However, what concerns me about Yoennis Cespedes' swing is how he gets to the POC.

When I first looked at this swing in detail, the name that popped into my head was Greg Luzinski. That is because this looks like a fairly top-down swing.

Video Clip of the Swing of Yoennis Cespedes

Yoennis Cespedes

There's no doubt that Cespedes gets to a better position at the POC than Luzinski, but this clip at least suggests that he doesn't get there quite right. For instance, and given the way his back leg moves at the start of his swing, there is a suggestion that Cespedes' lower body isn't quite right; it may be something small or it may be that his shoulders are rotating ahead of his hips rather than his hips leading his shoulders. That is inefficient and may mean that Cespedes is leaving power on the table (which is both a bad thing and a good thing).

There's also the issue that, rather than keeping his front elbow up through his swing, and adjusting by tilting over the plate, Cespedes appears to drop his front elbow during his swing. Many people teach that as part of a linear, A to C swing, but it's not what good hitters actually do because it can create a hole at the top of the strike zone.

However, Cespedes doesn't finish with the classic A to C, drop the hands and finish down around the front hip finish. Instead, his barrel is well below his hands at the POC and he finishes high. That suggests that this isn't a major problem, but I'd have to look at some more clips to render a definitive verdict.[1]

Having said that, I'm encouraged by Cespedes' position at the POC, which is what really matters. I believe that, with time and quality instruction, Yoennis Cespedes' hitting mechanics could be cleaned up and he could be a productive hitter at the major league level.

Notes

[1] Of course, since Cespedes already has this tendency, his swing could very well be ruined by an instructor who does teach an A to C swing.

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