PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Matt Joyce put YouTube to good use during the offseason, as the outfielder called up vintage video to study the swings of some of baseball's best hitters.
"It's pretty amazing when you watch guys like Jose Bautista how they've taken what they've done and turned it around," Joyce said. "There's kind of something there to be found, and I think it comes with really studying and investing your time and effort into getting to that point. For me, I spent so much time trying to learn as much as I can. In the offseason, you have a lot of time to think and reflect, and move forward and work on things. So for me, I'm really excited. I'm looking forward to this year, and I think it's going to be a great year for us."
Joyce's pursuit dealt with his desire to emulate the best, such as Bautista, Ken Griffey Jr., Robinson Cano and Barry Bonds.
"I just spent a lot of time studying these guys' swings and what makes them so successful," Joyce said. "Right now, I'm still in the process of trying to perfect it and get all the kinks worked out. For me, it's exciting, because I feel like I can create a little more bat speed, I can be a little more balanced. And that's the name of the game, stay on the plane a little bit longer of where the pitch is and you're going to have more success."
Joyce felt as though there had to be a common ingredient among the group. Why did their bats produce things other hitters only dreamed about their bats doing?
"There's something there," Joyce said. "There has to be something that clicks that makes it work better for them. Everybody's body is different, so it's about trying to fine tune and figure out what works best for you."
Joyce came to the conclusion that position at impact looked the same among the hitters.
"The balance that they have throughout their swing is really consistent," Joyce said. "When you break it down, the swings of the successful hitters become very similar when you get around the ball in impact position. Right around there it's very similar. Getting in that position over and over and repeating it is the key."