Jabari Blash tweaked his batting stance in the offseason, moving his legs a bit wider to try and leverage them more in his swing. The result was a season-opening slump that had his average at .156 through 17 games.
Over the past week, however, Blash has slowly started switching back back to his old stance. And the results are beginning to return in a big way.
The Mariners' No. 14 prospect posted his second straight two-homer game Friday, powering the Class A Clinton LumberKings to a 7-1 victory over the Great Lakes Loons.
Blash has teed off on Great Lakes pitching to the tune of four homers in two games -- quadrupling his season total -- and nine RBIs. He's gone 4-for-9 and scored five runs.
"The adjustment to my hitting stance, my approach at the plate, it's obviously working right now," Blash said. "In Spring Training, I was trying to get my legs a little bit wider, get my legs more into my swing because last year I was kind of straight up.
"But after a month and a half of trying, I figured there's no reason I should be doing this. I went back to my old stance and started getting results."
Blash is hitting the ball to all fields, homering to center, right, left and center again -- in that order -- after the adjustment. Avoiding off-speed pitches out of the strike zone and taking advantage of fastballs also has helped the Miami Dade Community College product.
"I'm laying off good curveballs. They made some mistakes and I capitalized on it," he said. "I'm a pretty big guy at the plate, so I don't get served up fastballs down the middle, but I've been doing well with sitting on pitches, getting my pitches to hit and not missing them.
"I'm swinging the bat real well, seeing the ball well, getting my confidence back. I feel great at the plate. Homers always feel good, two in a game two games in a row is just a tremendous feeling."
The outburst also came at an opportune time for the native of the U.S. Virgin Islands. He said family and friends back home, who for obvious reasons don't normally get to see him play, were able to watch him pull off his feat on MiLB.TV, which was kind of like icing on the cake for the 22-year-old.
"I had a ton of friends watching the game, got a bunch of text messages. It was nice, especially doing as good as I did this series, with my friends and family to see it," he said.
It's not often a two-game stretch can swing someone's outlook so dramatically, and Blash said he was happy just to be turning things around and providing Clinton with the production he expects of himself.
"This is a first for me. I'm really happy to be turning it around," he said. "The wins are great, hitters are getting on, moving guys over and giving me opportunities for RBIs, and we're having good innings. I think the team is really coming around."
Stephen Landazuri (3-0) remained unbeaten for Clinton, allowing one run on five hits and a walk while striking out five over seven innings. Wes Alsup blanked the Loons over the final two frames.