10/20/2011 3:58 PM ET
Jay: My own style at the plate
Cardinals left fielder talks about his unique batting stance
Over the years, there has been a lot of talk about my batting style.
Back in college, they used to call me "helicopter hands." I mean I have a weird batting stance now, but it used to be worse in college. I had my hands over my head back then. It was one of those things that I didn't even know I was doing it. People would tell me that I looked funny in my stance. I didn't notice it until I looked at some film. I was taken aback. I'm so used to it, I just never noticed it. It's something I've done since my freshman year.
I don't mind all the attention I get from my odd stance. It's unique, and something I can't really change at this point. People always point it out. It's just me.
I would describe myself as a line-drive hitter. My hands end up where everyone else's do; I just take a different route to get there. I usually talk with the batting coaches when I get to a team. I let them know that this is how I've always hit and that I've had success with it. I've never really run into a problem with it.
It's been said that I have quick hands through the zone, and I hope that's true. A lot of the great hitters in the game have quick hands. I hope that through all my hard work, one day I will be considered a great hitter. I think I have quick hands, but I still have a lot of work to do. I still need to prove myself in this league.
I don't know if my stance has widened or shortened in the past few years. You can drive yourself crazy critiquing every little detail of your stance and approach at the plate. I just try to keep it simple. A lot of the things I do, I don't even feel. A lot of it is just habit.
I grew up watching Ken Griffey Jr. I loved the way he approached hitting and his batting stance. I think I got my hand movement and wiggle from him. His stance is quieter than mine, but it does have similarities. I've heard people say that my stance looks a lot like Jody Gerut's.
Players have different ways of keeping their rhythm and finding their timing. Mine happens to be done with my hands. Some guys are quieter with their timing, like Albert Pujols. You can't even tell with him.
I'm a firm believer in everyone being different and having different approaches at the plate. There is no one right way to do anything. You know yourself the best. Hitting coaches are a great asset, but in the end you know what's going to work for you.
St. Louis outfielder Jon Jay played in more games for the Cardinals this year than any other player (159). The University of Miami product hit .297 and had 10 homers and 135 hits in his second big league season.