On MLB Network, reigning American League MVP Award winner Josh Donaldson joined former major leaguer Mark DeRosa in Studio 42 to explain his swing mechanics. It’s quite fascinating.
Donaldson explains things very simply yet thoroughly and even goes against some baseball orthodoxy. DeRosa interjects early on and points out that he’d never heard a baseball hitting coach tell him to get the weight into his hips. Donaldson says his method allows him to transfer his weight.
Even more interestingly, Donaldson explains why he focuses on hitting the ball in the air, which leads to doubles and home runs. “If you’re 10 years old and your coach says, ‘Get on top of the ball,’ tell him no,” the Blue Jays’ third baseman says. “Because in the big leagues, these things that they call ground balls are outs. They don’t pay you for ground balls. They pay you for doubles. They pay you for homers, unless you’re going to go out there and steal 80 bags a year like Billy Hamilton.”
Donaldson would seem like a pretty good source from which to take advice. Since the start of the 2013 season, only five batters have slugged more home runs than his 122: Chris Davis (150), Edwin Encarnacion (142), Nelson Cruz (141), David Ortiz (129), and Mike Trout (127).
(Cap tip to MLB.com’s Mike Petriello)
With a shortstop vacancy after trading Erick Aybar to the Tigers on Tuesday evening, the Braves will call up No. 1 prospect Dansby Swanson from Double-A Mississippi, the club announced.
Swanson was acquired along with Aaron Blair and Ender Inciarte from the Diamondbacks in the Shelby Miller trade this past December. Swanson hit .333/.441/.526 in 93 plate appearances at High-A Carolina before being promoted to Double-A. In 377 PA with Mississippi, he compiled a .261/.342/.402 triple-slash line with 26 extra-base hits, 45 RBI, and 54 runs scored.
MLB Pipeline ranks Swanson as the fifth-best prospect in baseball along with being No.1 in the Braves’ system.
The Tigers have acquired utility infielder Erick Aybar from the Braves in exchange for utilityman Mike Aviles and minor league catcher Kade Scivicque, MLB.com’s Jason Beck reports.
Aybar, 32, has handled shortstop for the Braves this season after they traded Andrelton Simmons to the Angels. He hit .242/.293/.313 with 18 extra-base hits and 26 RBI in 368 plate appearances. As regular shortstop Jose Iglesias was recently placed on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, Aybar will give the Tigers a reliable shortstop to fill the gap.
Aviles, 35, has played second base, third base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions for the Indians this season, though he racked up most of his playing time in right field. He compiled a meager .210/.258/.269 triple-slash line across 181 PA.
Both Aybar and Aviles will become free agents after the season.
Scivicque, 23, was selected by the Tigers in the fourth round of the 2015 draft. This season, with High-A Lakeland, he hit .282/.325/.380 with 19 doubles and 41 RBI in 449 PA.