In news that should come as a surprise to absolutely no one who has watched the Rangers play in the past week, Mike Napoli is finally feeling comfortable at the plate.
Nap said prior to the series against the Twins in Minnesota last weekend that something felt off with his swing and his approach to at-bats.
"I wasn't feeling comfortable in the box," he said, per ESPN Dallas. "I really wasn't picking it up and being able to swing at a pitch I wanted to. I thought I was chasing a lot. It just wasn't right. I was in an early slump, I guess."
Whatever it was that was “off,” appears to have gone away. Napoli had a home run against Minnesota in the finale of that series, before unleashing on the Red Sox, with six hits--including three home runs and a two-run double--and eight RBIs in their two-game set Tuesday and Wednesday. He added another home run in Thursday night’s victory over Detroit, giving him five home runs over the last four games.
Okay, so it seems that “early slump” is over. This didn’t come as all that much of a surprise to Rangers’ hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh, who saw Napoli improving long before this current hot streak.
"I felt like if he kept working on getting into a good position, he'd be fine," Coolbaugh said. "That was the main problem. He wasn't getting himself into a good position to make a swing on the ball and he was caught in-between. His timing started to come around in that Minnesota series and I knew it would click once he got that muscle memory. A lot of it's mental and trying to do too much too early and I think he's fallen into the routine now and getting his work, taking BP and translating it into the game."