Modern Leadoff Message For Logan Forsythe

April 2nd, 2016

Derek Shelton talks leadoff change

Logan Forsythe is the Rays’ new designated leadoff hitter, but hitting coach Derek Shelton doesn’t want him to change one damn thing.

It’s a tough concept to wrap a baseball brain around.

Forsythe was no leadoff hitter last year, when he was a surprise hero to Rays fans hitting .281 in 153 games, with 17 homers, 68 RBIs and a .359 on-base percentage. And that was coming off hitting a miserable .223 in 2014.

Kevin Cash made Forsythe a leadoff man in March, and Shelton told WDAE-AM 620 that Forsythe has been ordered to be the exact same guy at the plate.

“The game has kind of transformed where the selectiveness of that leadoff spot, we’re just not asking him to do that,” Shelton said. “We’re asking him to do specifically what he did last year in the No. 4 or No. 5 spot. We’re not asking him to be selective. If the first pitch of the game is a pitch he wants to hit, we want him to hit it. …┬áIt’s a chance to get one of your better hitters probably 70 more at bats a year.”

Shelton went on to say the traditional leadoff hitter in MLB is a dinosaur, so this is no big deal. “It’s not that bunt-speed guy anymore,” he said.

Joe’s concern is the inevitable change in mentality from Forsythe. It’s going to damn hard for him to avoid increasing his “selectiveness” at the plate. That might help him, but it very well could hurt.

And if Forsythe struggles, then Joe suspects Shelton will be wishing he had one of those traditional-type leadoff guys available.

3 Responses to “Modern Leadoff Message For Logan Forsythe”

  1. Originalfloridamarlin Says:

    The Rays will regret this maneuver. No need to tempt with Forsythe’s success. They have others who could lead off, like Kiermeier, who wants to lead off.

  2. Eric Says:

    Agreed. I was hoping the tinkering was all joe ma and we’d actually see line ups that made sense now.

  3. Ray of Sunshine Says:

    Actually, this may help. Most pitchers groove fastballs to the leadoff hitter to start the game.. Any batter with power should be golden. I l.ike it.


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