The Boston Red Sox have been able to turn around a slow start to their 2019 season, and catcher Christian Vazquez has been a big part of their recent success.
Vazquez entered Sunday’s matchup with the Houston Astros hitting .309 with a career-high six home runs. The 28-year-old hit .207 in 80 games last season, but manager Alex Cora said Vazquez made some key adjustments to his swing, which have improved his results at the plate immensely.
“(Vazquez) has made some adjustments from last year up to this point,” Cora said before Sunday’s game. “He changed his swing. He’s sitting on that back hip more compared to last year. He’s been staying in the strike zone, which is really important for everybody.
“His path has been shorter to the ball — a little bit more straight. Him and Timmy (Red Sox hitting coach Tim Hyers), they’re in a good place as far as communication and game planning. How they’re going to attack the pitcher. He’s been good.”
In the past, Vazquez has been known to hit the ball to the opposite field, but that hasn’t always been the case this season. The Sox catcher has been pulling the ball more than usual as a result of his new swing.
Cora hinted that he had seen some of this during winter ball in Puerto Rico, but gave credit to Vazquez’s hand-eye coordination.
“Christian’s hand-eye coordination is his biggest tool,” Cora said. “He’s a guy that can go the other way whenever he feels like it, but he’s shown the last 10-15 days, he’s been able to pull the ball. … So far so good. He’s doing a good job.”
A few small tweaks can go a long way, and Vazquez is a prime example of that.
Check out everything Cora had to say about Vazquez’s hot start below:
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images