At the start of the year, Jacoby Ellsbury was one of the Yankees’ hottest hitters, ripping the ball all over the field and exciting Yankees’ fans everywhere. Jacoby finished the month of April hitting .312, but like most of the Yankees’ lineup, Jacoby began to struggle, often being late on his swings. He has a average of just .227 since April.
“It was very difficult” said Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long to the NY Daily News. The Yankees’ hitting coach spent about an hour scouring over hitting tape of Ellsbury “I was in there for a while trying to figure it out, everything looked pretty similar to earlier in the year, then it just stuck out like a sore thumb” (h/t Mark Feinsand, NY Daily News)
Long’s discovery probably would have gone unnoticed by the untrained eye, but he noticed Ellsbury wrapping his bat behind his helmet as he setup, creating too much length in his swing. Long showed Ellsbury the tape before the game, hoping it would help end the 5-for-49 funk he had been in the previous 14 games.
Ellsbury responded by going 2-for-6 the next night, his first multi-hit game since May 7th. Jacoby has continued to improve at the plate, compiling 7 hits his last 5 games and raising his batting average ten points from .258 t0 .268. And in order for the Yankees to be successful, Ellsbury has got to be a catalyst at the top of the lineup. If he continues this improvement, the Yankees should be in for a exciting remainder of the 2014 season.