On Saturday, the Washington Post published, well, I’m not sure what to call it exactly. It’s not an article. It’s part-interview, part-analysis, part-video, part-comparison. Whatever it is, it’s amazing. This is the kind of stuff that happens when you combine quality journalism with the advantages of technology. You owe it to yourself to check out this production by Adam Kilgore and friends. Even if you’re tired of the amount of coverage Bryce Harper gets, you should read this just for what it shows about what baseball journalism can be. And I, for one, am not at all tired of Bryce Harper.
The realization came to Rick Schu this spring as he sat in front of a screen, collecting baseball swings. All winter, Schu, the Washington Nationals’ hitting coordinator, had been watching “Baseball” by Ken Burns, a Christmas gift from his wife. He burned clips from the DVD and compiled classic swings — Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth. As he watched Ruth, Schu paused the video and asked himself a question: Didn’t Bryce Harper have a swing just like that?
Schu scanned through video and found film of Harper hitting. He arranged clips of Harper and Ruth side-by-side on the monitor and stopped at the moment each hitter’s bat connected with a pitch. In each still picture, he saw a stiff front leg, an uncoiling torso and a back foot lifting off the ground. “Wow,” he thought. “That’s identical.”
“They’ve got that exact same swing at contact point,” Schu said later.
Read the rest at The Washington Post.