Stephen Kwan He’s having a great rookie season with the Cleveland Guardians. The 24-year-old Defender cuts .297/.370/.382 with a 118 wRC+, and he does so with elite board discipline and communication skills. Quan’s 8.8% exit rate is second only to Louis Araz8.3% among qualified hitters, while 22.6% O-Swing% tied for sixth best. On top of that, he’s one of a handful of hitters who enjoy more walks (36) than hits (34). Like Ben Clemens Wrote Back in April, “Kwan’s superhuman bat control is as real as it is real.”
Chosen in the 2018 fifth round by Oregon State University, Kwan entered the current campaign after emerging as one of the most interesting young players in the game. Number 57 on our website Top 100 Pre-Season Prediction Listthe simple-built left hitter has been described as having “short levers and excellent hand-eye coordination.” Brett Gardner Cited as his closest company.
In the final installment of the Talks Hitting series, Kwan discusses his innate ability to put a bat in baseball and sneeze on pitches not in the strike zone.
David Laurella: I got a lot of attention early in the season, almost exclusively for my elite communication skills. What does that mean to you?
Stephen Cowan: “It’s a compliment, if at all. I think hitting success is directly related to managing the strike zone – swinging in strikes rather than chasing out of the area. I certainly see that as a compliment.”
Laurea: To what degree are these traits considered innate as opposed to what is learned?
Kwan: “They’re very innate. I think it’s hard to teach that kind of discipline. I was told in the palace that plank discipline is pretty static, but strength ratings – strength numbers – can go up. Basically, you can kind of teach strength, but you really can’t Teaching strike area management and contact rate.
Laurea: At the same time, I’m sure the organization is working with the hitters to help them get better in this area…
Kwan: “Oh yeah. I mean, there’s lane training, and all those kinds of things. But for me, that’s something I’ve always been working on. I knew at a young age that I wasn’t going to hit the ball out of the park, so I had to find different ways to affect the match.” “.
Laurea: While not chasing is important, one hitting coach recently told me that good plate discipline is more about waiting and attacking on pitches you can take damage.
Kwan: “Sure. I’ll swing on pitches I can do something with. The way I see baseball… Like, the balls I can’t sway well are going to be balls, maybe just as long as my arm. If I had to get out of the zone — if I had to.” I twist my torso to get to a ball—it’s not something I want to swing into. I want something I can stay tight and across the area. These are the pitches I want to fish on.”
Laurea: Not all strikes are equal. Some stadiums in the region are more difficult to adjust than others…
Kwan: “No doubt. As I look for a court… I always try to stay on top of the fast ball. I can adjust the speed later. I mean, if you’re not on time for the fast ball, you just get beat, in general. If you’re seated for example , slide, and then a fast ball came, it’s over. At best I’ll screw it up. On the contrary, if I’m ready for the fast ball and the slider or the curve ball comes in, I can go down and keep my hand back and still stretch out on the field.”
Laurea: Regardless of your discipline and communication skills, to what extent are you a natural hitter as opposed to an acquired hitter? Is this question reasonable?
Kwan: “Yes. I’ve had different situations all my life. Outside of college, in my freshman year, I had to change. During college, for two years I had sort of spout toe. Leg stretch.
“So, it’s basically a little bit of both. The ball-and-ball stuff is basically innate or self-made—it kind of hits me—while showing that power, kind of getting a bit more pop, It has certainly been learned.”
Laurea: Can you explain a leg lift?
Kwan: “It’s the way I feel most efficient in my body. In spring training last year, I was in a pickup cage, hooked up with two machines, and we tried a few things. It’s something I felt really comfortable with, so I got into some spring training and some backyard games. I found success with her.
Laurea: What is it like to work with [Guardians hitting coach] Chris Valika?
Kwan: “Fabulous val. I think it is important to have a hitting coach like your companion. He’ll sort of talk to you, but at the same time, if you need something from him, he’s got the knowledge to back him up. He’s great in both respects.”
Laurea: Do you care a lot about multiplying analytics?
Kwan: “Not much. I’m really just trying to put it down. For me, a flat ball is the best way to get close to hitting. This is what I find works best. “
Laurea: You mentioned “show your strength” earlier. Is this something you are working on doing?
Kwan: “My style right now is not to worry about it. I’m 5ft 8, 170lbs, and being a front hitter, my job is to get on the base. Obviously the power numbers are really great, but I have the best hitters behind me. [Josh] nylorAnd the [José] RamirezAnd the [Amed] Rosario…I mean, they’re going to hit doubles and triples and run on their turf. All I have to do is be on the base in front of them. This is my main priority.”
Laurea: Any last thoughts on swiping?
Kwan: “Not right. I’m not a very boisterous guy with that kind of thing. I’ll always answer any kind of question, but really, I just keep my head down and go in there. For me, hitting is just hitting.”
Previous Talks Hitting interviews can be found through these links: I am fairAnd the Jeff AlbertAnd the Greg AllenAnd the Nolan ArenadoAnd the Aaron BatesAnd the Alex BergmanAnd the Bo BechetAnd the Kavan BiggioAnd the JJ BledayAnd the Bobby BradleyAnd the Jay BruceAnd the Matt ChapmanAnd the Michael ChavesAnd the Jacob CruzAnd the Nelson CruzAnd the Paul DejongAnd the Josh DonaldsonAnd the Brendan DonovanAnd the Rick EcksteinAnd the Drew FergusonAnd the Justin FuscoAnd the Michael FrancosoAnd the Ryan FullerAnd the Joey GalloAnd the Devlin GranbergAnd the Andy HainesAnd the Mitch HenigerAnd the Robert Hassell IIIAnd the Reese HoskinsAnd the Eric HosmerAnd the Tim HirsAnd the Josh JongAnd the Jimmy KerrAnd the Trevor LarnachAnd the Doge LataAnd the Evan LongoriaAnd the Michael LorenzAnd the Gavin LuxAnd the Dave MagadanAnd the Tree ManciniAnd the Edgar MartinezAnd the Don MattinglyAnd the Hunter MinsAnd the Ryan Mountcastle Cedric MullinsAnd the Daniel MurphyAnd the Brent RuckerAnd the Drew SaylorAnd the Trevor’s storyAnd the Fernando Tates Jr.And the Justin TurnerAnd the Mark TrumboAnd the Josh VanmeterAnd the Robert Van SqueukAnd the Zack FinAnd the Mark WindsAnd the Matt FerlingAnd the Luke VoigtAnd the Jared WalshAnd the Jordan WestbergAnd the Jesse WinkerAnd the Nick YorkAnd the Kevin Youkilis.