Jayson Werth’s improved approach

August 11, 2013

After the Nationals’ victory last night, Manager Davey Johnson described Jayson Werth’s approach at the plate as “outstanding.” The pitch Werth hit over the left field fence for a two-run homer proved that.

If Werth is hitting knee-high, first-pitch sliders out of the park, what can’t he hit? And how can this be the same hitter who, in 2011, was slapping grounders to shortstop or hitting weak flies to right?

Johnson said Werth has moved his hands away from his body, which allows for more power and plate coverage. Werth has also been standing straighter at the plate, with a slight tilt down with his upper body, which puts him in a better position to create a powerful swing path.

“In ’11, he was strictly [hitting to] right field,” Manager Davey Johnson said. “Even balls in on him, he’d serve them to right. And we talked after the 2011 season about going home getting in a better position, getting stronger and coming back. And he did in ’12, much better year. This year he had a little setback with the injury, but his approach has been there pretty much from day one of spring training. And he’s a veteran hitter. He knows what he’s looking for up there.”

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.
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James Wagner · August 11, 2013