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Crawford picks comfort zone over adjustments

Giants shortstop abandons shortened swing, stance at plate
MLB.com

DETROIT -- During the Giants' three-game series in Pittsburgh over the weekend, Brandon Crawford was ready to try something new. Amid a summer slump, which saw him go 10-for-64 (.156) over the previous 15 games and .167 the past month, Crawford decided to tweak his approach and hope for the best.

"I've honestly felt good for a couple weeks," he said, "but just not getting any results."

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DETROIT -- During the Giants' three-game series in Pittsburgh over the weekend, Brandon Crawford was ready to try something new. Amid a summer slump, which saw him go 10-for-64 (.156) over the previous 15 games and .167 the past month, Crawford decided to tweak his approach and hope for the best.

"I've honestly felt good for a couple weeks," he said, "but just not getting any results."

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On advice from hitting coach Hensley Meulens, Crawford shortened his swing, his stance and his stride to the plate. Meulens said Crawford's swing had become too long and his timing was off, which made him late on some fastballs. The idea was to simplify and not do too much, which is a typical suggestion for slumping hitters.

In the batting cage, the shortened swing felt good. But in his first at-bat against the Pirates on Sunday, Crawford hit a chopper to first and immediately had second thoughts.

"I was like, all right, let's just go back to being comfortable and doing what I normally do," he said. "I ended up getting a hit later that game."

In his next game, Tuesday's 5-3 loss to the Tigers, Crawford appeared to take another step in the right direction. He went 1-for-4 with a two-run homer. More importantly, three of his at-bats featured hard contact (an exit velocity of at least 95 mph, according to Statcast™), including a warning-track fly ball to the opposite field.

Meulens, who stands behind the cage during batting practice and gives Crawford pointers between rounds, said Crawford often makes his own tweaks when results go awry at the plate. That explains Crawford's decision to go back to his regular batting stance and swing.

"You want to make some adjustments, but at the same time you gotta feel good about doing it," Meulens said.

Worth noting
• The Giants have agreed to terms with 17 players during the 2017-18 international signing period, according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. Among them, Sanchez has reported shortstops Luis Toribio and Yorlis Rodriguez, outfielders Yohan Polanco and Jean Pena and left-handed starter Jesus Gomez have signed for $300,000 each.

• Connor Nurse, a 6-foot-6 high school right-hander and the Giants' 34th-round pick in this year's Draft, has signed and received a $250,000 bonus, according to Jim Callis of MLBPipeline.com. Only half of Nurse's signing bonus counts against the Giants' bonus pool because he was taken after the 11th round (the first $125,000 of signing bonuses for all 12th-rounders and beyond doesn't count).

Jordan Horrobin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit.

San Francisco Giants, Brandon Crawford