The Dan Vogelbach swing

Yesterday, I talked about Dan Vogelbach's "compact, uncomplicated swing".  I found this GIF made by Mike Rosenbaum of Bleacher Report that demonstrates what I mean.

As you watch the swing, notice

  1. The quick, simple load.
  2. The balanced weight transfer and the great hip rotation. He uses the lower half of his body very well.
  3. How he keeps his head down until the point of contact and ..
  4. ...the way he stays short to the ball
  5. How he  quickly whips his hands through the zone.

It's an explosive swing. There is no question this kid has the ability to hit for power and average.  Can't wait to see him at Kane County this year!


After posting this, I got some great feedback from Harry Pavlidis on Twitter. If you don't know Harry, he is the founder of Pitch Info LLC, writer for Hardball Times, and a Baseball Prospectus contributor.   A Cubs fan and a great baseball mind -- you should follow him on Twitter if you don't already do so.  I thought I'd share his excellent observations with you on the Vogelbach swing...

  • "that incredible whip through the zone is triggered by the big weight shift that starts when he's loaded up. Hands lag and EXPLODE."
  • "notice how his front foot is leading his weight shift as his back elbow is settling into the load position."
  • "if you watch that a few times you can see how perfectly his hands catch up to his hips right at impact. Squared up. Wowzers."

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  • I hope he works out during the off season. He has to try to lose
    some weight to improve his chances to the majors.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    He carries his weight pretty well at 250. I'm afraid he's always going to be big. It affects him more in the field and on the bases than at the plate. He'd be a heck of a DH.

  • Great breakdown. I am guessing Vogelbache has really grown on you?

  • In reply to WickitCub:

    Thanks. The more I see, the more I love. Not crazy about his range at 1B, but I'm smitten with that swing. He absolutely hurts the baseball.

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    I heard an interview with Vogelbach this year, and he takes pride in not just being a power hitter...he wants to make contact, work the count, and make the pitcher get him out.

    I want to see him hit at higher levels before we get too excited. And he's going to have to mash to make the majors, because he doesn't offer anything defensively.

    I don't want to be a negative nellie, but two words of caution: Brian Dopirak. Another left-handed hitting 2nd rnd 1B pick out of a Florida HS, who got a hot start in A-ball. If Vogelbach mashes A+, which is a notorious pitchers league, I'll be impressed. Until then, all prospects are suspects.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    He has great pitch recognition and the discipline to lay off those bad pitches -- which only adds to his already immense physical talent as a hitter.

    It is early with Vogelbach and a lot of things can happen on the way to the majors, but that swing is fun to watch at any level.

  • Niiiiiiiice!


  • In reply to SFToby:

    Your welcome. I have to figure out how to do these myself. I'd love to see GIFs of Amora, Soler, and Baez too.

  • Nice swing and NO high leg kick either! Damn! NL really needs to get on the ball and adopt DH.

  • In reply to lokeey:

    Agreed! Adopt the DH. Now that the Cubs are actually producing good hitters, it would be to our advantage down the road. Especially if Vogelbach reaches his potential.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm a purist but Vogelbomb has got me changing my core baseball beliefs.

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    I feel personally the weight issue is a bit overblown, I mean how much heavier is he than Pablo Sandoval.... not a lot. Its crazy how quickly his bat gets from point A to point B even in slow-mo. Just how loose and powerful his swing there is a touch of the Robinson Cano's, just a touch, In that singular respect. Err perhaps I watched the gif to many times and gone crazy.

  • In reply to James Knott:

    What amazes me about Sandoval is the fact he also plays 3rd base, and plays if pretty well.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    That speaks to his good athleticism.

  • In reply to James Knott:

    It's mesmerizing isn't it? I keep watching it over and over again too!

    Agreed on the loose, easy, powerful swing. As far as his weight, I do think it's overblown as far as his hitting is concerned. It affects the other parts of his game. If he can keep on hitting, nobody is going to care how big he is.

  • In reply to James Knott:

    I agree with you, the weight issue is overblown. I looked at this Vogelbach swing just now and compared to Sandoval, Delmon Young, P. Fielder and MVP Cabrera he looks svelt. Those other guys all have bigger guts and I might say are doing quite well in the majors. Vogelbach's footwork is a problem that I would guess is fixable.

    I have to fess up too. I really like watching the swing.

  • I wonder if the team should fast track him through the system so we can add him to the 40 man and use him in interleague games. That could really boost his value as trade bait.

  • I think it's time the NL adopts the DH . I hear the arguments against it and it's all nostalgic, elitist garbage. DH produces more offense and more offense equals more exiting baseball, IMO.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Watching Matt Garza hit cured me of any nostalgia for the pitcher batting.

  • By the way John - nice coverage you got over at CSN yesterday! Congrats!

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Thanks. I just talked to Tony the other day. Can't wait to read it. He definitely needs to edit me as I tend to ramble when I talk prospects :)

  • Good stuff. It'll be great to have him, Baez and Almora at Kane County.

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    In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    I really hope Baez doesn't go back one level! Maybe Soler is with Kane County next year, although it'd be nice to see him starting at Daytona, since that would probably mean he impressed the guys in charge during instructs.

  • An article on Vogelbach without the word "mash" appearing? Something doesn't feel right ;)

    Is there any talk of the NL considering the DH, & when could that be possible? And is there a chance if Rizzo doesn't become an all star, that the Cubs could trade him away & ride with Vogelbomb? I know it's about 4 years away, but everyone is wondering how we can get this guy in the lineup.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    It is odd, isn't it? Made me smile when I saw Baseball America use it too!

    There's no serious talk right now about the DH coming to the NL but some think it's a real possibility in the coming years.

    It does give the Cubs some flexibility, which is one more reason you want to hang on to Vogelbach for awhile. What if Rizzo gets hurt? Or what if he turns out to be a .275, 25 HR guy which is decent, but nothing special. It's nice to have options and a backup plan.

  • Looks like there's no more tacit moratorium on trades during the post-season. Time to get back to work, Jed and Theo. Don't just plan on improving through free agency.

  • The new FO should be looking at Shohei Otani, as well.

  • Just put a piece up that addresses both of your questions.

  • I remember in little league once I hit a ball that the outfielder had to catch with his back to the fence. After the game, one of the dads came up to me and said I must be strong because I hit that ball with all arms, and that if I ever learned to swivel my hips, watch out. So of course, I tried to learn, but could never really figure it out. I think if I had that gif back then, I could of. He does that WELL. Hips almost pop as he makes contact. I think he's gonna be a monster.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    That's an interesting point. Video is a nice tool to have these days. Really like the way he uses that lower half.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It really is. I remember another time in high school I went to an instruct at the community college. They were all about squatting way down in your stance, which I thought I did. When they showed the video, every swing I was straight as a pole. Funny what your mind thinks you're doing when your body really isn't. Another reason to be glad the FO and coaching staff are big on video.

  • Vogel-Kruk

  • In reply to DakotaCub:

    Resembles him a bit, doesn't he? I do think Vogs will have more power.

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