COLUMBUS, Ohio — Kevin Kramer is trying to stop thinking about his swing. When the Pirates' prospect first made a change to hit more line drives last season, he would run through a mental checklist during each at-bat.
Where were his hands on the bat? Was he dipping his front shoulder? How high was he holding the bat? Was his swing path level in the zone? Such thinking was important at first. It quickly became a deterrent in his first season at Triple-A, though.
Now, Kramer, an infielder for Triple-A Indianapolis, is focusing on pitch selection, rather than the mechanics of his swing, and the result was a remarkable June that included a .330 average and 1.056 OPS in 27 games. The 24-year-old is now hitting and fielding his way into the conversation to help the Pirates at some point in 2018.
"You start missing pitches you should hit and start second-guessing yourself, saying, ‘Well, maybe it’s my hands. No,' " Kramer told DKPittsburghSports.com recently at Huntington Park. "For me, I was thinking that early in the year and not letting myself be free. I’m not worried about the mechanical side of the game now."