Cleveland Prospect Chase DeLauter Describes His Scissor Swing

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

“There’s something about his swing that looks odd and unnatural, but DeLauter otherwise looks like a middle-of-the-order bat from a tools perspective.”

Eric Longenhagen shared that scouting perspective when describing Chase DeLauter back in January. Ranking him No. 9 on our Cleveland Guardians Top Prospects list as a 45 FV prospect, our lead prospect analyst also opined that the 2022 first rounder was “a fascinating draft case,” in part because he played just 66 games over three seasons at James Madison University. Moreover, the broken foot that prematurely ended his final collegiate season delayed DeLauter’s professional debut until this past June. Initially assigned to the Arizona Complex League, the 21-year-old outfielder has slashed .356/.373/.548 with one home run in 75 plate appearances since being promoted to the High-A Lake County Captains.

DeLauter discussed his swing, and the approach that goes with it, prior to a recent game.

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David Laurila: Break down your swing for me. How would you describe it?

Chase DeLauter: “I don’t really know. I mean, I kind of swing the way I’ve swung my whole life. Some people like it, some people don’t. For me, it works really well. I’m a big… I wouldn’t say ‘advocate’ for the scissor, it’s just something I’ve had to do my whole life, and something that no one has really ever tried to change. That’s definitely my go-to route.”

Laurila: Define scissor.

DeLauter: “It’s just the back leg and how I clear my hips. It’s more clear my hips forward then rotation. I throw my hips forward and then my back leg comes out behind, kind of letting me work more to center field and the opposite way — more so than rotating right off my back side.”

Laurila: That’s natural, basically how you have always swung a baseball bat?

DeLauter: “Yeah, I never really had a hitting coach growing up. My swing has always been self-taught. It’s something I’ve just naturally done.”

Laurila: Watching you in BP, I saw a pretty compact swing. Is that something hitting coaches have told you they like?

DeLauter: “I wouldn’t say anyone has really said they liked or disliked it. It’s maybe just something I would have had to change if I hadn’t performed the way I had the last couple years. But that’s my comfortable swing. It’s what I’m going to stick with until there is a reason not to.”

Laurila: What is your approach at the plate?

DeLauter: “Hit a fastball over the batter’s eye. Every time. Basically, it’s hunt heater and react to anything offspeed. Yeah. My whole goal is to catch the heater out in front as many times as I possibly can. I mean, if you’re a guy that’s kind of not looking for the heater, or you’re getting beat by the heater often, which I am right now…”

Laurila: You’re getting beat by heaters?

DeLauter: “I haven’t played in a long time, so my timing is a little off right now. It takes some time to get back. So yeah.”

Laurila: How do you go about timing a pitcher when you’re in sync?

DeLauter: “It varies depending on the pitcher, but I’d say I’m a guy that likes to go at the break of the hands. That’s when I start my load and my stride. I don’t have a huge load or a leg kick like some guys. For those guys, it’s different.”

Laurila: A number of big league hitters have told me that you can’t have just one swing, that you need to be adaptable to different pitches and locations. To what extent do you have an A-swing and a B-swing?

DeLauter: “I have one swing. I mean, I don’t go up to the plate thinking ‘On this pitch, I’m going to get my second-best swing off.’ You know what I mean? It’s the same swing every time.”

Laurila: Do you feel that your swing is conducive to both pitches down and up?

DeLauter: “Oh, yeah. I mean, I think so. There is a certain extent… like, you get fastballs that have really good ride at the top of the zone and you might have to start earlier, or maybe swing a little shorter, thinking of swinging down on the baseball. But at the end of the day, I don’t think that’s a change to my intent or what I’m really trying to do at the plate.”

Laurila: Do you get deep into the weeds with hitting, analyzing your swing mechanics, or do you mostly just go out and do your thing?

DeLauter: “Personally, I like to go out and do my thing. I mean, I am a video guy; I will watch my swing, especially if things aren’t going well, or I feel off. I absolutely like to see what’s going on. But I also don’t like to overanalyze things. I’ve been swinging the same way since I was four or five years old, so thinking about changes and mechanics all the time isn’t the answer.

“This is just my take, but 98% of the time, when a hitter feels off, it’s usually timing; it’s timing that is causing something else. So, for me it’s always focusing on my timing, making sure that I’m loading at the right time, making sure I’m loading early enough, getting on my front foot early enough. You could say that’s mechanics, but to me it’s more so a timing aspect to get off my swing.”





David Laurila grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and now writes about baseball from his home in Cambridge, Mass. He authored the Prospectus Q&A series at Baseball Prospectus from December 2006-May 2011 before being claimed off waivers by FanGraphs. He can be followed on Twitter @DavidLaurilaQA.

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Danmember
6 months ago

Maybe I’m just not seeing it and I love you guys, but how can there not be an embedded video (or at least a link to one) of his swing?

Anon
6 months ago
Reply to  Dan

It really is mind-boggling to have a whole article about how his swing is odd and then not have video.

CC AFCmember
6 months ago
Reply to  Anon

Google is free. I googled “Chase DeLauter highlights” recently and holy god is his swing weird.

Left of Centerfield
6 months ago
Reply to  CC AFC

So far the results have been good. A 139 wRC+ in Rookie ball before he jumped up to A+ where he has 157 wRC+. Both of those are based off of small sample sizes cause he keeps getting hurt. Which is not a good sign given his prior injury history. Also, for a big guy (6′ 4″ / 235) that swing seems to generate doubles power more than home runs. Final thing is that his walk rate in A+ is very low (2.7%). Still, if he keeps hitting, he’ll be on a fast track to Cleveland…

fjtorres
6 months ago

Injuries are a concern.
And the lack of the long ball might be why he says he’s being beat by the fastball. So he’s aware of it and its not his normal. Finally, high contact doubles power in the low minors often, though not always, blooms into homers by AA.
Still a ways off.

Last edited 6 months ago by fjtorres
fjtorres
6 months ago
Reply to  CC AFC

He doesn’t seem to be getting much from his lower body.
I may be missing it but he doesn’t have much of a stride.
Definitely odd.

If the power doesn’t show up he might want to watch video of young Thome. Minimal leg movement but he put all his mass behind the bat.

Greg Simonsmember
6 months ago
Reply to  Dan

The first sentence of the article has a link to a video of his swing.