AUCKLAND – The recent rise of Andrew Velázquez in offensive production has begun, like most changes in baseball, in his head.
Angels shortstop said he stopped thinking of himself as a № 9 striker, just trying to punch the ball somewhere.
“This mentality has blocked me, made me a little embarrassed at the plate,” Velázquez said on Sunday. “I lost the barrel because I was trying to stay inside and refine my swords. It’s not me. I’m going to go up there and think I’ll hit the ball hard. It frees me up to become an athlete. And I hit the ball hard. “
Since May 5, Velázquez has reached 0.276 with a weighted percentage of the base of 0.353 compared to .137 and .193 before that. Its average exit speed on the last leg was 92.3 miles per hour, which is above 88.9 miles per hour before. On Friday night, he scored his first Homer of the season.
Although in late April the improvement began a few days after Velázquez noticeably added kicks to both his right and left hand in late April, he said he often goes back and forth with his feet.
“It’s more time than anything,” he said.
Velázquez believes the difference is that he is now trying to drive the ball rather than just putting it into play.
Manager Joe Madonna also noticed an improvement.
“His batting practice is pretty impressive,” Madonna said. “He’s short (5 feet 9), but it’s hard to be stronger than him. This (Homer) did not surprise any of us. He will do it more often than you think. As he gains more confidence, it’s just a matter of him discovering or understanding what he’s doing best in the hit zone. Focus on that and don’t let the pitchers break, swaying at heights and stuffing into the mud. Once it creates an impact-limiting zone, it can be very good. ”
The “angels” do not need Velazquez to own the plate so well, because he has changed the game so much on the field. It is usually done spectacular playsand the Angels maximize its value by moving it to the side of the second base on each attacker.
Velázquez has retained five defensive races, ranking second among the top stops in the major leagues.
The Angels have set their rotation for the upcoming series in Texas, with Noah Cindergaard, Reed Detmers and Shohei Otani in three games.
They have yet to announce when Chase Silset will start again, but the fact that he is still on the list, not an extra game, suggests he will start again next week. On Friday night in his debut in the major leagues Sylset made six zero innings.
If he starts next Friday night, at the start of the home series against A, the Angels will eventually have a few starters who will go on a seven-day break because they have a weekend on both sides of the series next weekend.
Angels (RHP Noah Cindergaard, 3-1, 2.45) at Rangers (RHP John Gray, 0-1, 5.51), Monday, 5:05 p.m., Bally Sports West, 830 AM