This article is from DRaysBay, and it has an Astros' connection, since it involves ex-Astros' minor leaguers, Ben Zobrist and Drew Sutton. Our fellow SBNers apparently were looking for explanations behind a spike in power by Ben Zobrist over the last year. Zobrist's isolated power tripled and his HR production went up five fold.
It turns out that Zobrist and Drew Sutton both went to the same hitting instructor ("swing mechanic" he calls himself), Jaime Cevallos, who runs a consulting business for swingers (OK, a lame attempt at humor). We all know that Sutton followed up with a big jump in slugging in AA. Zobrist, a former slap hitter, is now called "Zobrilla," according to the article. Cevallos claims that he can dramatically improve a hitter's power and consistency at the same time. He has prepared his own "index" to measure swings, and you can see in the article how he rates some of the best swings on his index (hint: the Babe is best). Zobrist apparently was reluctant to make changes, because he feared that it might contradict what his major league coaches wanted him to do. Cevallos developed a "training bat" (hey, you can order it off his web site), which promotes the proper hitting mechanics, and he believes his approach will change the way hitters train.
This is all pretty interesting. But I'm not completely buying that this guy is a miracle man for hitters. At least at this point. For one thing, the jury is still out on whether Zobrist's and Sutton's increase in power is more than an aberration. But, if both guys continue to produce as power hitters (Cevallos predicts that Zobrist will be a 30+ HR hitter, if he is full time), will we be calling for the Astros to send more hitters to this hitting instructor? The guy's claims are so expansive that I have some inherent sckepticism (kind of like when I read about the miraculous properties of some new herbal drug). But even if the improvement he brings is more moderate than his claims, the hitting instructor might be useful to under-performing professional hitters--who knows?.
If you were Drayton, would you open the check book and order a bunch of training bats for your hitters?