The Kansas City Royals have made some significant changes in player development since the end of last season. Most-impactful might be the hiring of Drew Saylor as their new hitting coordinator. The 36-year-old Ohio native brings a progressive, technology-meets-behavior-theory mindset to the organization via the Pirates and Dodgers systems. He spent last season as Pittsburgh’s assistant minor-league hitting coordinator, a stint that followed three years of hands-on experience tutoring Los Angeles farmhands. Saylor was named Baseball America’s 2018 Minor League Manager of the Year.
In this year’s first “Talks Hitting” interview, Saylor discussed the philosophies he’s bringing to the Royals, and the developmental goals of talented-but-enigmatic outfield prospect Seuly Matias.
David Laurila: What is your approach when working with young hitters?
Drew Saylor: “One thing I talk a lot about is being curious. The more we can get our players and staff to be curious about what is going on… for instance, what makes the player successful? What are some of his gap margins? From there we can go to, ‘OK, let’s look at this from a batted-ball data…