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The Muscle: playing over his head?


To me this just looks a lot like a guy playing way over his head, but do you think it's possible that the change in Branyan's stance really could have made this much of a difference? It seems like a bit of a stretch to me, but if we could get a .260/.370/.480 type of line from a lefty for the next couple of years, that would be huge. I'm saying there's about a 25% chance that this isn't just an obscene hot streak. What do you all think?

 

 

(unambigufied thread title --1992)

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There is no way he is going to continue slugging .800, so this is definitely a hot streak. In 2005 in Milwaukee hit .257 and got on base almost 38% of the time (I'm guessing that's where you got your numbers since they are so close), so those are definitely in his reach. I think a slugging of .525 isn't unreasonable either. There is a chance he can go through some slumps where some people will call for him to go down, but it certainly looks like his new stance has helped him.
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It's the batting average for Branyan that has me most intrigued. Intrigued because it has stayed high based on him hitting more over the fence instead of lucky singles. He has the physical tools that he could get into that ridiculous power hitting mode where he just sits back and waits for his pitch and then keeps smacking them over the fence. I don't think that's the case, but he has been hot long enough that one has to give it a moments thought.
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I know he won't continue slugging .800, but i do feel like hitting 260-290 for a season *might* be a possibility for him. He just looks like he has a completely different swing than what I remember. It's not the violent swing it was and he's still hitting for power. I don't really know what to make of it honestly.
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I think Russell has so many big bats around him that he's supposed to be an easier out than much of the lineup. So naturally, he'll see pretty good pitches to hit. Nobody is going to pitch around Russell Branyan in order to pitch to someone else in that lineup. It's not going to happen. Also, I definitely think that changes in stances or routines can positively effect outcomes. A good example, although it's pitching, is Seth McClung. He took out a whole step in his old windup and look at what's happened so far. He must feel unstoppable right now which is so key. A smaller example, Counsell too has toned-down his crazy stance and he's hitting much better than last year. I think it's all about whatever makes them more comfortable at this point in their careers. Making a change can almost feel like starting over with a fresh clean slate. The confidence snowballs once a little success has been tasted with the tinkering.

 

That got me thinking that maybe Rickie should try a more toned-down approach and see what happens in BP. He can't get too much worse, although he might be one of the most unlucky hitters in baseball. I have never seen a player hit so many ropes for outs.

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I think Russell has so many big bats around him that he's supposed to be an easier out than much of the lineup. So naturally, he'll see pretty good pitches to hit. Nobody is going to pitch around Russell Branyan in order to pitch to someone else in that lineup. It's not going to happen.

I don't buy that has much to do with it. Branyan has been batting 6th in the order, not third with Prince up next. Pitchers/teams aren't just grooving Branyan fastballs right down the middle out of fear he'll walk and Kapler or Cameron is due up next.

Russell to me is simply locked in and seeing the ball well and it also looks like the new stance is helping, when pitchers do make a mistake though, Branyan is crushing them.

The amazing thing to me is how effortless his swing looks, yet he hits these absolute bombs that go way over the fence. I watch Prince swing and it's much more violent and hard, Branyan looks like he's slicing a single and the ball goes 450 feet.
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The amazing thing to me is how effortless his swing looks, yet he hits these absolute bombs that go way over the fence. I watch Prince swing and it's much more violent and hard, Branyan looks like he's slicing a single and the ball goes 450 feet.

 

yeah, I'm amazed when he hits a "weak" looking fly ball off the bat and it carries all the way to the warning track. Even my wife pointed this out the other day. *CRACK* "Darn it, Branyan broke his bat! That's an easy play in short center . . . .whoa! Maybe not! That thing went all the way out there!"

 

"That's how strong the guy is, dear."

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I think Russell has so many big bats around him that he's supposed to be an easier out than much of the lineup. So naturally, he'll see pretty good pitches to hit. Nobody is going to pitch around Russell Branyan in order to pitch to someone else in that lineup. It's not going to happen.

I don't buy that has much to do with it. Branyan has been batting 6th in the order, not third with Prince up next. Pitchers/teams aren't just grooving Branyan fastballs right down the middle out of fear he'll walk and Kapler or Cameron is due up next.

Russell to me is simply locked in and seeing the ball well and it also looks like the new stance is helping, when pitchers do make a mistake though, Branyan is crushing them.

The amazing thing to me is how effortless his swing looks, yet he hits these absolute bombs that go way over the fence. I watch Prince swing and it's much more violent and hard, Branyan looks like he's slicing a single and the ball goes 450 feet.

 

danzig, I think you missed junt4twan's point. It's not who's batting behind Branyan, but the fact that with so many dangerous hitters in the lineup, when Branyan came up, certainly he was not looked at as the major or even the secondary lineup threat. Now eventually they may adjust that but for the month he's been up he's gotten pitches to hit and to his credit he's hit them and hit them hard. But baseball is a game of constant adjustments. It will be interesting to see what they do to Branyan from here on. His history should have everyone cautious, but maybe this new stance is the key.
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I would say he is having a "streak" or whatever you want to call it, much like JJ had in the first half of last year. There is no way he keeps it up, but we need to ride it while he's hot. I think he would be a nice option off of the bench in the long term. Gotta love the guy that has a chance to tie up a game late with a homer.
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In 2000 with the Indiana he homered twice on the day of his call-up, then for six games and then he homered again. He hit 5 HR in his 1st 6 starts. To finish the season, he hit 16 homers in 67 games and his BA was .238.

 

• In 2002, he was traded to the Reds and didn't homer in his final 20 games with the Indians, but in his second and fourth games with Cincy, he did. On Aug. 4 he hit three home runs and ended up with 16 homers in 84 games for the Reds, 24 for the season.

 

• In 2004 he homered on his first start here. He hit six home runs in his first 11 starts. He finished with 11 HR in 51 games.

 

• In 2006 with Tampa Bay he wasn't as prolific and was traded. In his second game at SDhe hit two home runs but then ended the season with 6 HR and 9 RBIs in 27 games, and doubled and tripled in 13 at-bats against the Cardinals in the playoffs.

 

• In 2007, Branyan played for three teams. He didn't do much for the Padres or in his 2 days back with the Indiana. Then, in his first AB as a Philly, he hit a game-winning home run in his first at-bat. In his first start with Philly he hit a three-run homer! He was then with the Cards and homered his first time up.

 

We all know how he's doing now. The fast start is Branyan's trademark at this point.

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I saw on another website that Branyan is slugging over 1.200 on contact so far this year, which would be by far the best in history. However, Branyan is, I believe, the 4th best on contact slugger in ML history (behind Babe Ruth, Ryan Howard, and Jim Thome) so while that is a fluke, he could possibly keep it nearly that high.
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I saw on another website that Branyan is slugging over 1.200 on contact so far this year
Does "contact" include foul balls? Because we've seen a couple of foul balls where he should be credited with 5 or 6 total bases. He has been more than impressive to say the least.
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Now eventually they may adjust that but for the month he's been up he's gotten pitches to hit and to his credit he's hit them and hit them hard.

 

Yeah -- I think pitchers have been aggressive going after RB up until this point -- that will probably change now.

Good points JB & FtJ. I think the difference-maker is going to be which true outcome Russ leans on more now... the BB or the K. http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif

 

Given his approach to this point, I think pitchers being more careful to Russ is going to result in a bump to his OBP/BBs, even though the K's will likely rise too. I certainly don't think he should be expected to hit near .300 for very long, but I also don't think that at this point anything he's done is all that fluky (save the HRs/SLG of .800). He's not likely to continue to smash one out every 8.2 PA, but I definitely think the 'easier' swing, combined with his patience at the plate, is a legit alteration -- as opposed to a fluky aberration.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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I saw on another website that Branyan is slugging over 1.200 on contact so far this year, which would be by far the best in history. However, Branyan is, I believe, the 4th best on contact slugger in ML history (behind Babe Ruth, Ryan Howard, and Jim Thome) so while that is a fluke, he could possibly keep it nearly that high.

 

How about Marcus Thames' streak of 9 straight hits being HR that was broken the other day? How Branyan like is that?
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