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For The Twins’ Hitting Coach, It’s All About The Mental Game

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(credit: CBS) Mike Max
Mike Max returned to WCCO-TV as a sports reporter and anchor in Apr...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Beating the Texas Rangers and any other team requires the development of young hitters.

That’s Tom Brunansky’s job. He’s former Twin turned hitting coach, and he has his hands full.

“Experience is a huge factor in being a big league ball player,” Brunansky said. “And when young guys come up, and they don’t have that experience…the veteran guys can pass some information to them, I can pass information to them, but it really doesn’t matter until they get out there and experience it.”

Example one: Aaron Hicks.

He’s a center fielder with potential, and he’s no longer a switch hitter.

“[Brunansky] can tell you when things aren’t working,” Hicks said. “For me, being a right-handed hitter now, I need to focus on up the middle, driving balls up the middle.”

Jason Kubel is a veteran. He needs someone to watch for bad habits he doesn’t realize he gets into.

“I guess I got tired a while ago, and I guess I got into some bad habits,” he said. “So I’m trying to…correct all that and get back to hitting the ball hard again.”

What helps Brunansky coach is the fact that he was a big leaguer.

“He knows what it’s like to go through the grind,” Hicks said.

That experience allows him access into the heads of the big league hitters. And to him, that’s where the game is played.

“At this point, [the players have] had plenty of reps, they are ready to go,” Brunansky said. “It’s the mental side of it.”

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