Through 24 spring training at-bats, Derek Jeter is hitting .333. Results are nice, but Jeter’s average is not what excites Kevin Long, the Yankees’ hitting coach. This does: On Friday, when Jeter was 1 for 3 with an infield single against Atlanta, he swung at the first pitch every time up. That he fouled them all off was irrelevant, at least to Long.
“Early on, he told me, ‘I’ll probably take a lot of pitches during spring training until I get comfortable,’” Long said of Jeter, who is known as a first-pitch hitter. “He’s not taking those pitches anymore. That tells me he’s getting comfortable with what he’s doing and where he’s at.”
…“He’s not smothering the ball anymore,” Long said. “He’s able to get to it. He’s created a path and a lane for the barrel to get to it a lot easier. Before, a ball might be on the corner and he’d have to fight it. Now, as long as it’s on the plate, he’ll get to it.”
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