Power. In baseball it is important. Very important. Some people incorrectly think of me being a "small ball" kind of manager. That is unfair. Power is important to me. Rest assured Royals fans, I am making changes to improve the power of the Royals offense for the 2013. In this fanpost I will outline the reasons for a lack of power, but first, I need to define what power is.
At its most basic level, power can be defined as imposing your will on the other team. Yes, that will show through hitting home runs, triples, and doubles. Those can be good. But power is more than that. Power is hitting a ground ball to the first baseman with a runner on second base to advance the runner to third. The other team didn't want you to do that, but you did it anyway. You have shown power by imposing your will on the other team. In 2013, we will make a concerted effort to impose our will on the other team, thus making us a team of power. Sure, I want us to hit more triples and doubles, but I want us to display power in all areas of our offense.
Identifying the problem is the first part of fixing the problem. Here now are the primary causes of a lack of power for a team. These are the areas I will be focusing on to bring power back to the Royals. Based my planned changes I am excited for the upcoming year.
Reasons for a Lack of Power:
1. Not Trying Hard Enough: Grit and intangibles are critically important. You can't hit for power if you don't try. The degree with which you try will determine your success. Players need to know that being powerless will not be tolerated. We are the Royals. We play with power. That is a mindset which much be embraced. Collect all your grit and summon your inner power and then make it happen.
2. Not Bunting Enough: Having runners on base is a huge distraction to pitchers. A runner on third is more distracting than a runner on second which is more distracting than a runner on first. A distracted pitcher means more bad pitches which means more chances to hit for power.
3. Not Stealing Enough: We will impose our will on the pitcher by messing with his mind when we are on base. If a runner is on first the pitcher does not want him on second. We will impose our will by simply taking that base, and there is nothing the pitcher can do about it. This also will lead to more distracted pitches from the pitcher just like bunting does.
4. Not Enough Hitting Coaches: A hitting coach is very important, but he can only be in one place at a time. If I tell Billy to go work with the hitting coach on hitting ground balls the other way but the coach is already working on bunting with Esky, Billy will have to wait. This is not acceptable. More hitting coaches mean more opportunities to improve the power of our players.
5. Too Many Walks: You can't hit with power if you don't swing the bat. It's that simple. As some famous guy once said, "Perfect can be the enemy of the good." If you are waiting for the perfect pitch you can let too many good ones pass buy. Aggressive people are the ones with power, and we need to play with aggression. Remember, it is about imposing our will, and we do that through action, not inaction.
6. Too Many Home Runs: Don't get me wrong, home runs have their place, but sometimes if the pitcher is struggling and there are runners on base, a double can be better. A home run is final; the bases are cleared and the pitcher gets a fresh start. A double keeps the pressure on the pitcher. The runner that is still on base is an in-your-face way of letting the pitcher know we are still here and we aren't letting up. While home runs can be good, we need to be smart about when to use them.
To summarize, power is important. I am taking steps to make sure 2013 is a banner year for Royals power. It is all about power. Power. Power. Power to the Royals.
(P.S. - in an unrelated note, I thought I would give you an encouraging update on Getzy's rehab. It is going great. Chris is looking fantastic and is ready to be back as our everyday 2nd baseman in 2013.)