Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Nate McLouth is awesome

Good read in the PG today about Nate McLouth's early breakout this year. I particularly enjoyed this passage about Nate as a four year-old playing wiffleball with his dad:

"Nate would take pitches," the elder McLouth said. "Honestly, if he didn't like what I threw, he wouldn't even budge."

This might best explain why nobody, not Nate McLouth's family, not his high school coach, not any of his professional instructors, including those currently with the Pirates, can lay claim to that patient, sweet-swinging style that has made him one of the more compelling story lines early in this Major League Baseball season.

As Pirates hitting coach Don Long put it, "That approach he has, that's not something you teach."

This is why I don't have terribly high hopes for guys to have sudden breakouts with the Pirates this year. In most of their cases, their problem is their approach and approach is something that's not easy to teach, especially in players old enough to make the big leagues. On the other hand, McLouth's approach is great and that's why I haven't given up hope that this hot start isn't just a flash in the pan.