On his hitting:
DL: YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve reportedly made mechanical adjustments to help improve your timing. Can you elaborate on what those adjustments were?
CH: I just concentrated on getting myself in a position to hit a lot earlier than I used to. I used to have a wide stance where I kind of tried to get a load going before the pitch and a lot of times my front foot wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t getting down on time. So, what I essentially did was kind of just pre-set. I start off standing pretty much straight up and then I kind of sink into it. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pretty early, and then I just kind of wait there a little bit and get a little rhythm with my hands and my lower body. I stride a tiny bit, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s almost a no-stride swing.
DL: Has that impacted your power in any way?
CH: No, in factÃ¢â‚¬Â¦I guess, maybe. I possibly donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t hit the ball quite as far, but power came from making more solid contact this year. In years past, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d hit a lot of balls off the end of the bat, or IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d get jammed a lot, just because of my timing. This year I was able to make a lot more solid contact, which translated into more power.
DL: Was the adjustment suggested by one of your hitting coaches?
CH: Our minor league hitting coordinator is Ronnie Ortegon, and he worked a lot with me in spring training. He and I get along well and he always kept telling me, “Your timing is late, your timing is late,” and it was getting kind of frustrating because I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t feel that to be the case. But he was persistent. He kept staying on me and with about three games left in spring training I kind of just moved to the opposite end and made my timing so early that it couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be late. I started having some success, and I hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t been having hardly any that spring training, so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m thankful that he kept pushing me and pushing me to make some changes in my timing. So far it has worked out.
DL: Has the adjustment helped you to do a better job of using the whole field?
CH: Yes, although IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m still generally more of a pull hitter. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t spread the ball around as much as maybe IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like to, but what has really translated is hitting right-handers and their breaking balls. Up until this past year, I really hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t done a whole lot with right-handed sliders and curveballs, and probably half of my home runs this season were on right-handed breaking balls. That solely comes from my timing and being able to stay back. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been the biggest thing with the adjustment Ã¢â‚¬â€œ being able to hit right-handed pitchers.
DL: Do you pay more attention to your batting average or your on-base percentage?
CH: I would say on base percentage for sure. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s more important. Getting on base is the whole point of the game, because thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s how you end up scoring runs, so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like to increase my walk numbers a little bit. But while IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like to walk more than I do, at the same time I like to stay aggressive. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll still swing early in the count, because usually thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s when you get a good fastball to hit. I think thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a fine line between walking a lot and not being aggressive enough, so I like to balance those two out.
On his defense:
DL: Where is your defensive game right now?
CH: I think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pretty good. My arm has gotten a lot better since I was drafted, and I feel like my range is just as good as it has always been. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m still working on taking the best routes that I can to the ball.
DL: Do you see yourself as primarily a corner outfielder?
CH: No, I think that I can play center field as well as a lot of guys can. I played that in college and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve played a lot of center field in the minor leagues, and I definitely take pride in the fact that I can play all three outfield positions. Drew can play center field really well, though, so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll play wherever they put me.
Pretty good interview, give it a read.