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Bryce Harper debuted his new “stack and jack” batting stance last night

Jul 19, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT

Bryce Harper AP AP

If you watched last night’s game between the Brewers and Nationals, you saw a new look from Bryce Harper. And no, I’m not talking about his haircut.

Harper debuted a new batting stance, which featured some pretty significant changes. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has the details:

Harper made three changes. He stood upright with less bend in his knees. He held his hands lower, level with his chest. He relaxed his left elbow so it pointed at the ground behind him.

The overall effect made him calmer in his actions. Harper had been “jumpy” upon his return from the disabled list, Williams said. The new stance seemed designed to eliminate the anxiousness, to allow Harper to stay back and wait on pitches.

“I just felt comfortable, and that’s the main thing,” Harper said. “Going forward, I’m just trying to have some fun and relax a little bit.”

The early results are promising, as Harper went 3-for-4 with a solo homer. Check out the homer here and see the new stance for yourself. The 21-year-old outfielder was just 6-for-40 (.150) with 16 strikeouts over his first 12 games since coming off the disabled list, so perhaps the changes are here to stay.

Nationals hitting coach Rick Schu has described Harper’s new approach as “stack and jack,” which has a pretty nice ring to it. I can see it catching on.

  1. motorcitydiddy - Jul 19, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    an improvement from his previous stance, dubbed “hack & slash”

  2. tribefever - Jul 19, 2014 at 11:33 AM


    • sportsfan18 - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      yeah, for his age he’s very good.

      and father time keeps marching on. he’s gonna be 22 next yr, not 19 and 20 anymore.

      but I wouldn’t call a .270 career hitter a stud (oh, he just got it up to that too as it was lower)

      and now in his 3rd season, instead of getting better with age, he’s having his WORST season of his 3 big league seasons.

      season 1 slugging % .477%
      season 2 slugging % .486%
      season 3 slugging % .402%

      season 1 OPS+ 118 very good and fantastic for a 19 yr old
      season 2 OPS+ 134 excellent, especially for a 20 yr old
      season 3 OPS+ 103 league average, good for a 21 yr old

      and his games played has gone down each season too.

      i’d hold off on the stud comment for now

      • lukedunphysscienceproject - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:50 PM

        “He’s going to be 22 next year”. Yup, stick a fork in him. I don’t know why these old men insist on hanging on to the past. These guys should really know when it’s time to hang it up. Sad.

  3. David Proctor - Jul 19, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Jayson Werth recently switched to “stack and jack” too and that has spurred his red hot July.

    • wetmorepsu12 - Jul 19, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      Jayson Werth’s stance has been very similar to that since his time with the Phillies…

      • David Proctor - Jul 19, 2014 at 12:55 PM

        Not quite. he has changed it quite significantly over the past few years. Especially where his hands are, but also his crouch

  4. pinkfloydprism - Jul 19, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    While change is good, especially in his case… I do not think changing his batting stance will change the fact that the MLB teams have figured out how to exploit him… but time will tell.

    • roundballsquarebox24 - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:06 PM

      What if they found a weakness in his swing which was caused by his batting stance? Not saying that this is the case but the great hitters are constantly making adjustments and this can be a major changing point in Bryce Harper’s career.

  5. steelerfanforlife - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    Jul 19, 2014, 1:41 PM EDT

    He’s played in 34 games this year! But don’t let that get in the way of your awesome point!

  6. realgone2 - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    It did them a whole hell all out of good. Most over rated team in all of MLB.

    • apkyletexas - Jul 19, 2014 at 5:38 PM

      Harper doesn’t care about individual stats – he’s just glad he could help his team win last night.

      Oh wait…

  7. courtjester1234 - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Yeh he’s definately one of the Boys of Summers…Eve.Listen here douchey no one likes your attitude. You make yousel puig look like a good guy. And that’s hard to do. I usually don’t hate players but instead the opposing team they are on. I actually appreciate what a player may do to sacrifice themselves for the better of the team. Start acting like a team mate

    • voteforno6 - Jul 19, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      That’s a lot of vitriol aimed at someone you’ve never met. I’m not sure what Bryce Harper had done to deserve such hatred. It’s not like he threw a bat at someone.

      • jimbo75025 - Jul 19, 2014 at 7:38 PM

        I don’t get it either. When he first came into the league, I expected him to be a lot more arrogant than he has seemed to this casual observer. Harper does seem to miss a lot of games though (the wall incident last year and then the thumb injury sliding now), but I can give him a partial pass on that-at least he was going all out which is more than you see from some players these days.

  8. Walk - Jul 20, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    Reminds me of rick ankiel, the way he holds the bat around chest level.

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