SEATTLE MARINERS

Mariners slugger Daniel Vogelbach breaks down approach to career year

May 17, 2019, 7:12 PM
vogelbach, mariners...
Daniel Vogelbach has 12 home runs for the Mariners this season. (Getty)
(Getty)

Mariners slugger Daniel Vogelbach is playing his best ball for Seattle – he’s tied for a team-high 12 home runs, and leads the team in OPS (1.002) and on-base percentage. Hours ahead of Seattle’s Friday night home contest against the Minnesota Twins, Vogelbach joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny, Dave and Moore to talk about his development as a hitter.

Mariners GM ‘confident’ Vogelbach can keep producing

You can hear Vogelbach’s full interview in the audio clip embedded above. Here are a few highlights:

Have you changed your swing much since you’ve gotten to the big leagues? “I changed my swing last offseason. I was just trying to find a way to really use the power that I had; I really wasn’t using it correctly. So it’s just more of trying to be short and use my legs more. For me, I always say just swing it 50 percent and let everything else do the work. Sometimes I can over-swing, and when I over-swing things get out of whack and it really gets off balance.”

Did you ever have doubts along the way in your career, or is this a kind of validation for you? “I never had any doubt in my mind. Being up and down so much and not really getting a full opportunity just with the way things shape out for the team at that year, you can sometimes doubt that you’re going to get an opportunity. But I’ve never really doubted my ability. I’ve always really believed in myself, and I think the best in the world always believe in themselves, no matter what’s going on or how many ups and downs they’ve gone through. When you stop believing in yourself, I think that’s maybe when the end’s there.”

You attribute some of your success to just being yourself. How much of a relief was that for you to feel like you get it? “I play my best when I’m smiling and trying to put smiles on other people’s faces. That’s just kind of how I go about life. And the Mariners have been great about letting me be myself. It’s really helped me ease my way into the big leagues, especially with this year being the first time to get a full opportunity, just to be myself and be vocal and try to be a leader, and just every day be as competitive as possible.”

How do you develop such a good eye at the plate? “I hate striking out. You’ve got no chance to get on the base if you’re striking out… (so I) try to really shrink the strike zone. Throwing strikes is not easy, especially with how much pitchers make the ball move… (you) just have to try to do damage early on… I mean, I try to stay on the fastball every at-bat. I’m looking fastball and I trust my eyes to adjust off-speed. It’s way easier to look for a fastball and hit an off-speed pitch than look for an off-speed pitch and hit a fastball at 95. I can’t do it.”

So you don’t guess very often? “No, I don’t really guess ever… when I’m looking for other things it’s not good, it ends bad (laughs).”

No starting pitcher.

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
Areas Of Fog then Partly Sunny
High 67° | Low 56°
No game today.

Wyman & Bob

Seattle Mariners

Mariners Julio Rodríguez...
The Associated Press

Mariners roll into playoffs after 5-4 walk-off win over Tigers

Julio Rodríguez hit his 28th home run, Ty France hit a game-ending single and the Mariners capped the regular season with a 5-4 win over the Detroit Tigers.
1 day ago
Mariners Raleigh Bichette...
Brent Stecker

ESPN’s Passan: Key for Mariners to beat Blue Jays in playoff series

The Blue Jays have the advantage over the Mariners in their wild card series this weekend, but ESPN's Jeff Passan says there's a way for Seattle to win.
1 day ago
Mariners Jesse Winker...
Brent Stecker

Mariners’ Jesse Winker to IL ahead of playoffs; Taylor Trammell recalled

A second Mariners option for left field has hit the injured list just before the beginning of the playoffs with Jesse Winker out with a neck injury.
1 day ago
Mariners Julio Rodríguez...
Brent Stecker

Mariners Playoffs Schedule: Blue Jays series, Seattle Sports coverage

The Mariners' first playoff series in 21 years is set. Find out the game times and coverage details from Seattle Sports here.
1 day ago
Mariners Luis Torrens...
The Associated Press

Mariners catcher Luis Torrens gets a win, Seattle sweeps Tigers in DH

Catcher Luis Torrens became the first position player in Mariners history to earn a pitching win and Seattle swept a twinbill from Detroit on Tuesday.
2 days ago
Mariners Abraham Toro...
Brent Stecker

Mariners lock up 2nd AL wild card, going to Toronto for playoff series

The Seattle Mariners' return to the American League postseason after 21 years away will go down a new path rather than a familiar one.
2 days ago
Mariners slugger Daniel Vogelbach breaks down approach to career year