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When you look at Zack Collins‘ game log, you can draw a line on April 23. Statistically, he was an absolute mess beforehand, and he’s been an absolute beast since.
As Collins tells it, that date is more than a convenient endpoint. That’s about the time he received video from the Miami Hurricanes that helped show him what his stance looked like as he compiled the resume that made him a top-10 draft pick.
In a video sent from the Hurricanes, Collins noted that his college stance was more spread out and that his hands were higher, allowing him to see the ball better and attack fastballs up in the zone more efficiently. He showed the tape to Birmingham coaches and put the old stance into action on April 24 against Pensacola. The result: 2-for-4 with two doubles, four RBIs and a walk.
“Honestly, it just changed in the one game,” Collins said. “Right away from the first at-bat, I could tell I was seeing the ball a lot better. I almost wish I would’ve stuck to this since I got drafted. Unfortunately, I didn’t, but things seem to be working really well now.”
Collins didn’t blame the White Sox for tinkering with him, at least entirely:
“It wasn’t completely them changing me,” he said. “It was in between them and myself working on some things. I just wish I had stuck to what was working in the first place and gone from there. I felt like I almost wasted a year. It’s OK now, though, and that’s what’s important.”
- That’s four hits in two days for Charlie Tilson, who went 2-for-5 with a strikeout and a stolen base.
- Eddy Alvarez was 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
- Zack Collins doubled, singled, walked twice and struck out twice.
- Eloy Jimenez now has nine straight multi-hit games after going 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk.
- Seby Zavala went 2-for-6 with his ninth homer.
- Matt Rose was 2-for-5 with a double and a strikeout.
- Jameson Fisher was 2-for-3 with a walk and an HBP.
- Jordan Stephens wants a piece of Charlotte: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K
- Ryan Burr: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR
*James Fegan’s latest Birmingham dispatch tracks Stephens and other Barons pitchers on their use of Trackman data.
“They talked a lot to me about spin rate, and apparently I have a really good one,” Stephens said. “That must be why I like throwing fastballs up in the zone because it always worked for me. I didn’t know that before this spring training. Before this spring training I just figured people just don’t hit my high fastballs but it turns out it has a little bit more carry to it, so people think it’s going to be an inch or inch-and-a-half lower than it’s actually going to be. We also talk a lot about pitch sequencing this year, as far as fastballs up, working your curveball off your fastball, up and vice versa.”
- Joel Booker went 1-for-5, and was picked off/caught stealing.
- Luis Alexander Basabe was lifted after six innings, going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
- Alex Call replaced him and went 1-for-2.
- Blake Rutherford hit the game-winning shot in the 10th, part of a 2-for-5 night. He struck out once.
- Micker Adolfo was 1-for-4 with a walk.
- Gavin Sheets, 1-for-5 with two strikeouts.
- Yeyson Yrizarri went 1-for-4 with a strikeout and a stolen base.
- Ti’Quan Forbes was 1-for-4 with a walk.
- Evan Skoug went 3-for-5 with a double and a strikeout, raising his average to .212.
- Justin Yurchak was perfect at the plate, singling twice and walking thrice.
- Carlos Perez went 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.
- Lincoln Henzman: 6 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP
- Tyler Johnson: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K