If I could make one suggestion to Mark Reynolds, or anyone else listening, it would be to find a “go to” approach. In golf, the great ones have a swing and ball shape that they go to under pressure. It’s a swing they know will keep the ball in play. In baseball, there are at-bats where contact is paramount. At-bats where a strikeout fails to advance runners, kills a rally, leaves a runner on third, stops momentum and brings down the crowd. A contact or “go to” stroke is the answer. At the end of the year, tracking contact in those at-bats would show a high percentage of times the team benefited. That, in itself, should be enough motivation.
Mark Reynolds and any other high K guy could choke up, spread out and just center the ball, and they’d hit 50 home runs and around .300 in today’s game.
Eventually they will, like John Daly in golf. When he gets older, loses his length and ego that goes with it, he’ll learn to play a simpler, more rewarding game. When hitters understand that a shorter, less violent, level swing increases contact, when they realize that more contact means more production, more consistency, and more wins, they’ll change.
It took me 13 years to see the light, make those changes and become “dangerous” and “good.” Why should they wait that long? Take it from me and my buddies: Sometimes a single is harder to hit than a home run!