Home / News / Matt Mervis hopes for another big league shot

Matt Mervis hopes for another big league shot


MESA, Ariz. — Every minor leaguer dreams of getting called up to the big leagues, seizing the opportunity and never coming back to Triple A.

The truth can sometimes be much harsher. First baseman Matt Mervis’ first experience in the big leagues last season – 99 plate appearances in 27 games – did not go as smoothly as either he or the Chicago Cubs had hoped. The left-hander struck out in 32.3% of his at-bats with a .167 average, .242 on-base percentage and 43 OPS+.

“There were some highlights, of course, but there were a lot of things I didn’t want to happen,” Mervis told the Tribune. “I don’t want to use negative words, but my point is that the game could have been a lot better. “I’m also grateful for the opportunity to lay out the pros and cons so definitively.”

But along the way, Mervis learned how opposing pitchers wanted to attack him, realized how complex a game plan could be, and wanted to rely on his strengths.

“I can’t go out there and try to hit everything,” Mervis said. “Just because it’s a strike doesn’t mean I have to attack it, that kind of thing. “I got there because I’m good at some things and I need to keep doing that.”

Mervis, 25, spent the offseason training at Maven outside Atlanta, where Dansby Swanson is also based. Mervis also felt like he didn’t know his swing last year and wanted to fix that. It focused mainly on creating a better path through the middle of the region compared to last year’s east-west swing.

“I could tell I wasn’t swinging because I knew I was supposed to swing, but I couldn’t pinpoint it,” Mervis said. “I couldn’t solve that problem quickly enough, so I knew I wanted to go somewhere that was a little more technical than what I’d been doing so far.”

By adjusting his bat path, Mervis hopes to create better quality contact. Although the sample size was small in the majors, his ground ball rate (46.6%) was much higher than what he produced at Triple-A Iowa (34.3%). He wants to return to line-drive hitting and believes he has found a daily hitting routine that will help control his movements and start his mechanics early enough to make sure he arrives on time.

“I don’t have to try to swing a certain way,” Mervis said. “Once I get that, I’m ready to get into the game and at that point it’s all about shooting.”

Major league pitchers often caused Mervis to expand his zone and move away from staying locked in where he could do the most damage. The Cubs won’t overreact to Mervis’ struggles in his limited appearance last year.

Cubs first baseman Matt Mervis swings during live batting practice at Sloan Park in Mesa, Ariz., on Feb. 22, 2024 (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune)

“Things didn’t go the way he wanted, but we need to understand that this is more normal than we want it to be,” Counsell said. “That’s what happens to young players. It’s the best league in the world and it’s a tough league and it’s part of the growth process for the vast majority of young players.

“It’s up to Matt to use this as a learning experience and figure out how he can grow from it, get better, and then continue to move in that direction.”

Counsell said Mervis was in the conversation at first base during camp and it was up to him to break down the door and force the Cubs to give him another big league chance.

“He did some things last year and things since he signed as a pro that made me think this guy could be a major league player,” Counsell said.


About yönetici

Check Also

Meet the 2023-24 Aurora-Elgin men’s basketball all-District team

[ad_1] Players from Waubonsie Valley, West Aurora, Oswego East and Class 1A state finalist Aurora …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Watch Dragon ball super