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Giants not convinced Belt is ready for big leagues

Belt is batting .380 with a .429 on-base percentage and three home runs. Only Hector Sanchez and Melky Cabrera have a higher OPS among players. Yet he remains a work in progress with the coaching staff, who are concerned that his setup and swing mechanics will leave him vulnerable against quality major league pitching. "The thing we continue to talk to him about is no matter how good his spring is going numbers wise, we want to see him have good mechanics," Giants hitting coach Hensley Meulens told me. "We know how he was pitched last season and the things he struggled with. All we’re doing right now is make sure he’s prepared, if and when he’s back in the big leagues, he no longer goes through those struggles." Meulens said he is trying to get Belt to stand taller and move back in the batter’s box. "He’s way out in front of the batter’s box," Meulens said. "It works for him, but want to make sure he’s getting the bat head out on those pitches middle-in and not just trying to flare it to left-center. We’re on the back field using drills so he can create that feel. When his elbow goes out, the barrel actually flattens and it takes a longer time to get the bat out in front. "He’s had success in this camp, but … the pitching is different here. We all know that. We see a lot of minor league guys pitching in these games. It’s not to take anything away from him, but there’s still some things that we’re trying to refine so he’ll have success at the big league level." Why does Belt stand so far up in the box? Is he trying to hit curveballs before they break? "That's one way to look at it, but I’m just worried about the fastball," Meulens said. "I don’t want the fastball to beat me. He’s a good offspeed hitter. We just want him to get to the fastball so he’s not fouling so many off or getting beat by them. That’s what we’re telling a lot of hitters this spring. Don’t get beat on the fastball. Be ready to hit the fastball. "It’s a comfort thing. He’s always done it. He’s had success with it and there’s no need to change in his mind. We believe that backing off a little more, especially against lefties, will give him a little more time." ------------------------------------------------------------ On the one hand, I want to trust the Giants staff, and Meulens in particular. On the other hand, Meulens didn't do jack with the 2011 Giants, and Belt has a tremendous track record of success. Didn't the Giants bring in another coach to work with hitters this season. Also, didn't Barry say he wanted to coach? Of course, just because he was a legendary hitter himself doesn't mean he can coach it. However, I always found him very articulate about what adjustments he makes himself.

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