It was the struggling Rickie Weeks who opened the scoring in Milwaukee’s victory last night, depositing a home run in the left field seats off Ian Kennedy in the second inning. Weeks has shown power at times throughout his season long slump, and at five home runs he’s on pace to hit roughly 20 — not his normal output, but not too far off either. The real key to Weeks’s home run swing was keeping his balance throughout. Observe:
And take a look at the point of contact:
Weeks is more or less straight up and down at the point of contact. He isn’t out leaning on his front foot nor is he falling either towards the plate nor away from it. Now, take a look at a swing from one of his worst games of the season, May 19th against Carl Pavano and the Minnesota Twins:
And here’s what Weeks looks like post-swing:
He’s listing to his right and his weight is almost completely concentrated on his front foot (note the front knee bend). Even had he made contact with this pitch, he couldn’t possibly have done much with it. As strong as his arms are, they aren’t enough to routinely make solid contact with major league pitching without generating some power from the lower half as well.
Balance will be the key over the next few games as Weeks attempts to use Friday’s home run as a handhold to climb out of his slump. Keep an eye out for this in Weeks’s swings over the next week or so. Once he’s routinely keeping his balance on his swings, even when he misses, he should be able to start hitting like the Rickie Weeks we expected coming into the season.