Scouting the AFL: Brandon Belt profile
The player I was looking forward to seeing the most at the Arizona Fall League this year was not the Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper (because I had seen him before), but San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt.
I wrote about Belt's breakout season extensively in August. As I mentioned in that blog entry, I hadn't seen him play this year but talked to a number of scouts who had. The gist was to throw out any scouting reports on Belt as a hitter before this season. That's because while starting in instructional league in 2009 just after he was taken as a fifth-round pick, Belt completely revamped his stance and swing. The idea was to give him a more direct path to the ball and help him see the ball better. I go into more detail about the changes in that story.
Belt was drafted twice before as a pitcher, so he is relatively new to hitting full time, and he said the Giants told him when he was drafted that they were going to make some changes.
"There was no resistance at all," Belt said. "I had always worked on pitching, so I hadn't really had much instruction as far as hitting goes. I was pretty open-minded to whatever they wanted to do, and I was ready for it. I thought I'd always been able to hit, but I'd never really had that instruction to where I could put it all together and have better mechanics that worked the best for me on the field, so that's what [the Giants' coaching and player development staff] really helped me with the most."
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