Toronto Blue Jays catcher Josh Thole has a bold new look at the plate, which he hopes will translate to more power for him in 2016
Josh Thole is trying something different at the plate this year.
Well, why not?
The Blue Jays catcher is the leading candidate to earn Toronto’s backup job and work with R.A. Dickey, but after three years of struggling offensively, he’s now looking to add some pop to his game.
It’s an unconventional look, but instead of tilting his bat away from the pitcher and over his shoulder, Thole now angles his wrists so that the head of the bat points back towards the field of play.
You can find a .gif of the stance here from Ian Hunter of Blue Jay Hunter.
In his three years with the Blue Jays since coming over from the New York Mets, the now 29-year-old has hit .212 / .283 / .258. Good for an OPS+ of 53, that’s just not going to work. And, really, could this new experiment hurt?
“He says he’s a completely different hitter now, no longer happy to just hit little line drives over shortstop as he has his entire major-league career,” writes Mike Wilner of Sportsnet.
Baseball has been quick to forget, though, that Thole managed to stay above water rather comfortably in his New York days.
Between 2010 and 2011 over 613 plate appearances, Thole hit .271 with a fantastic on-base percentage of .350.
Re-establishing that on-base tool may be even more valuable than power, which Toronto already has plenty of.
Thankfully for Thole, his value with Dickey could be valuable enough to earn him a job alone. Anything beyond that is a bonus, too, so give Thole credit for turning over stones.