David Bote’s Minor Mechanical Adjustments Yielding Major Results
David Bote began the season with slightly different batting mechanics than what he’s showcasing now. And it’s not just the two-homer explosion in Houston Tuesday night, since Bote has been raking over the past 2-3 weeks.
The change he made is to his pre-pitch front side. Early in the season, his heel was somewhat elevated and he displayed greater overall movement in the box. But at some point within the last two weeks, Bote has brought that front heel completely to the ground and he’s much, much quieter.
First, let me show you a side-by-side video that highlight the changes (thanks to my Cubs Related podcast co-host Corey Freedman) before going into greater detail. The left video is from May 7 against the Marlins and the right is from May 26 against the Reds.
During that earlier at-bat against the Marlins, we see Bote’s front heel elevated with more pronounced lower-half movement.
The pre-pitch mechanics we see above date back to the earlier portion of the season. In this GIF from April 11 — a month before the above example — we see Bote with that same elevated heel and loud lower half just before the pitcher initiates his delivery.
Now let’s take another look at Bote’s mechanics from a few days ago against the Reds. The difference in his front foot stands out, but you can also see that his hips aren’t engaged until he begins his stride. And he’s sooo much quieter overall.
Looking back at clips, the first game in which I could spot Bote’s mechanical adjustments was on May 14 in Cincinnati. In the time since, he has 11 hits (three homers) in his last 27 plate appearances, which has lifted his overall wOBA and wRC+ to .357 and 122, respectively.
It’s cool to see Bote’s success correspond with an obvious, though relatively minor, mechanical tweak. If I’m being totally (and irrationally) transparent here, I’m pretty excited and hopeful that a change like this could propel Bote going forward.