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Choi starts putting smack on inside stuff


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Choi starts putting smack on inside stuff

 

By Juan C. Rodriguez

Staff Writer

Posted June 20 2004

 

Hitting coach Bill Robinson provides his left-handed charges with specific instructions on how to handle the inside strike.

 

"Three things I want you to do," Robinson said. "I want you to kill the first baseman, tear that bag off the hinges or make that first-base coach dance."

 

Hee Seop Choi is listening. He hasn't made Perry Hill break into the watusi yet, but the first-base coach is on notice. With Robinson's encouragement, Choi has begun pulling the ball more.

 

The knock on him last season was he couldn't handle the inside pitch. Robinson discovered those reports were overstated and is helping Choi learn to yank that ball.

 

"Last couple of games pitchers have been throwing a lot of inside pitches," Choi said. "I've been working with [Robinson] and feel more comfortable with the inside pitch."

 

It showed Friday, when Choi pulled a John Wasdin delivery over the right-field wall as part of his first career three-hit night.

 

Since spring training, Robinson has emphasized maintaining an upright stance. Choi has a tendency to dip before making his swing, hindering his ability to get the barrel of the bat out on the inside offering.

 

"If you stay taller you recognize the inside pitch and get down and through the ball," Robinson said. "I want him on some pitches if they're inside to react and yank that ball nine miles foul. That's all right. At least you're getting that club head out."

 

 

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I continue to be impressed with the progress Choi is making this year. Choi has been hitting both the curveball and inside fastball better in the past few weeks.

 

Undoubtedly, Choi is going to be a huge contributor in the 2nd half. He is one of the better surprises this year. :thumbup

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I'm glad he is learning how to hit other pitches besides the fastball. At the beg. of the season when that was all he can hit, it was much easier to get him out. I think that he has really improved this year. I think the word is getting out that Choi can hit other pitches besides the fastball...

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