Nolan Schanuel Talks Hitting | FanGraphs Baseball

Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports activities

Nolan Schanuel received to the large leagues in a rush, and he wasted little time proving himself as soon as he arrived. Referred to as up lower than six weeks after being drafted eleventh general final summer season by the Los Angeles Angels out of Florida Atlantic College, the left-handed swinging first baseman hit safely in every of his first 10 video games. Furthermore, he reached base in all 29 video games he appeared in and completed with a .402 OBP. Indicative of his calling playing cards — plus plate self-discipline and high quality bat-to-ball expertise — he drew 20 walks and fanned simply 19 occasions in 132 plate appearances.

The one knock on his recreation is he doesn’t hit for a lot energy. Schanuel homered simply twice after reaching professional ball — as soon as every in Double-A and the majors — and whereas that profile isn’t anticipated to alter markedly, he did go away the yard 19 occasions in his remaining collegiate season. At 6-foot-4, 220 kilos, he additionally possesses the body to change into extra of a long-ball menace as he additional acclimates to big-league pitching. Simply 22 years outdated (as of final month), he has loads of time left to develop his recreation.

Schanuel talked hitting on the Angels’ Arizona spring coaching advanced earlier this month.


David Laurila: It’s not unusual for modern-day gamers to establish as hitting nerds. In your opinion, what constitutes a hitting nerd?

Nolan Schanuel: “There are such a lot of methods you may put it. I believe it’s any individual that research not solely their very own swing, but additionally different individuals’s swings, seeing what works for them. Rising up, I appeared into dozens of swings. Barry Bonds, Ichiro [Suzuki] — seeing what works for them and form of attempting to place it into mine. So, I might say that being a hitting nerd is finding out different individuals and form of inserting a few of what they do into themselves.”

Laurila: You simply named two hitters with very completely different swings. Had been you ever attempting to emulate both of them?

Schanuel: “I wouldn’t say emulate. I might say that I attempted to pick items of what they did rather well. I didn’t actually know my swing after I was first doing this, so placing issues into it form of made it what it’s at present.”

Laurila: What did you are taking from Ichiro?

Schanuel: “The upper handset is just a little little bit of Ichiro. He didn’t actually have a really excessive one, however his fingers on the whole — watching him work the bat together with his fingers, and likewise his tempo, I might say was a giant affect on my swing. Watching the way in which he managed the barrel was the most important half.”

Laurila: The place are your fingers?

Schanuel: “They’re manner increased now. In highschool, I had them so much decrease. It was form of a self choice to do that; I assumed it was higher to get into my injury zone. There’s [added movement to get to where I fire from], but it surely’s motion multi functional movement. The second I’m going down, I shoot out. I additionally do a leg kick, form of floating within the air.”

Laurila: When did you make that change?

Schanuel: “My freshman 12 months of school is after I actually began unlocking what I’m now.”

Laurila: How would you describe the hitter that was unlocked?

Schanuel: “I might say contact, a extremely good contact man. A line drive hitter could be the easiest way I can describe it. I believe extra energy goes to come back, however being up early within the lineup, my job is to get on base for the fellows behind me, the fellows that may actually present the ability.

“To me, hitting is all about timing and discovering your rhythm. Seeing pitches… there may be a lot that goes into hitting that individuals don’t actually take into consideration. They suppose you see a white ball and also you hit a white ball, however there are such a lot of little issues that go into it. Timing, as I stated, performs an vital position. Staying balanced performs an vital position.”

Laurila: Good contact expertise are clearly an asset, however they’ll additionally end in placing balls in play on pitcher’s pitches that you just’d have been higher off not swinging at. How do you method that conundrum?

Schanuel: “Early within the spring it was just a little exhausting getting again into it, but it surely’s about selecting out your energy factors — the place you need to do injury early — and letting that low-and-away strike go. You need to be disciplined with that, in hopes of getting one thing higher afterward. I imply, you get used to doing that. You play baseball for thus a few years, so it form of simply turns into your nature.”

Laurila: Circling again to watching hitters, who’re these guys now?

Schanuel: “I watch everyone. I don’t actually watch so much on-line anymore, although. Now it’s extra so in individual. I imply, I get to observe one of the best baseball gamers on the planet, and I can study from their errors. I can study from their successes. That’s why you need to go on the market and study every single day.”

Laurila: Do you ever sit within the dugout and suppose, “That man jogs my memory of myself on the plate?”

Schanuel: “No. I wouldn’t say like me. I might say some similarities, however not very… I imply, I’ve a novel swing. It’s completely different from everyone else’s. Excessive handset. Excessive load. Not lots of people do this, but it surely works for me.”


Earlier “Talks Hitting” interviews can discovered by way of these hyperlinks: Jo Adell, Jeff Albert, Greg Allen, Nolan Arenado, Aaron Bates, Jacob Berry, Alex Bregman, Bo Bichette, Justice Bigbie, Cavan Biggio, Charlie Blackmon, JJ Bleday, Bobby Bradley, Will Brennan, Jay Bruce, Triston Casas, Matt Chapman, Michael Chavis, Garrett Cooper, Gavin Cross, Jacob Cruz, Nelson Cruz, Paul DeJong, Josh Donaldson, Brendan Donovan, Donnie Ecker, Rick Eckstein, Drew Ferguson, Justin Foscue, Michael Fransoso, Ryan Fuller, Joey Gallo, Paul Goldschmidt, Devlin Granberg, Andy Haines, Mitch Haniger, Robert Hassell III, Austin Hays, Nico Hoerner, Jackson Holliday, Rhys Hoskins, Eric Hosmer, Jacob Hurtubise, Tim Hyers, Connor Joe, Jace Jung, Josh Jung, Jimmy Kerr, Heston Kjerstad, Steven Kwan, Trevor Larnach, Doug Latta, Royce Lewis, Evan Longoria, Michael Lorenzen, Gavin Lux, Dave Magadan, Trey Mancini, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Marcelo Mayer, Hunter Mense, Owen Miller, Ryan Mountcastle, Cedric Mullins, Daniel Murphy, Lars Nootbaar, Logan O’Hoppe, Vinnie Pasquantino, Graham Pauley, Luke Raley, Brent Rooker, Drew Saylor, Marcus Semien, Giancarlo Stanton, Spencer Steer, Trevor Story, Fernando Tatis Jr., Spencer Torkelson, Mark Trumbo, Justin Turner, Trea Turner, Josh VanMeter, Robert Van Scoyoc, Chris Valaika, Zac Veen, Alex Verdugo, Mark Vientos, Matt Vierling, Luke Voit, Anthony Volpe, Joey Votto, Christian Walker, Jared Walsh, Jordan Westburg, Jesse Winker, Bobby Witt Jr. Mike Yastrzemski, Nick Yorke, Kevin Youkilis.