Wolters a different hitter since All-Star break

Hard work has paid off for Rockies' backup catcher

Wolters a different hitter since All-Star break

DENVER -- Rockies catcher Tony Wolters came into Spring Training with a batting stance that had his hands too low and his rhythm out of whack.

But after months of work with hitting coach Blake Doyle, his bat is starting to come around. Wolters showed it off in Wednesday's 12-10 win over the Nationals by going 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, two runs and two RBIs.

After hitting just .215 in the first half with a .296 on-base percentage and a .331 slugging percentage, Wolters has turned his season around. Since the All-Star break, he has a hit in 10 of his 12 games and has slashed .432/.512/.676 with two home runs and eight RBIs.

"He's worked hard," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He and Blake have really spent a lot of time working on swing path, working on rhythm. I feel like he's got an approach that he's taking to the plate now, where early on, it was hit and miss with his approach. He looks a lot more confident in the box now."

The Rockies took a flier on Wolters when they claimed him off waivers from the Indians in February. Although he had never played above Double-A, Wolters made the Opening Day roster for his defensive skills, despite being relatively new to playing catcher.

"He's always been a defender," Weiss said. "That's been his ticket. Ironically, he started as a middle infielder, now he's a catcher. But at-bats come because he's worked hard. He's reaping the rewards of that."

Wolters and Doyle have worked hard through sessions of front toss and hitting off a tee to improve his swing throughout the season, and the payoff is clear with Wolters' cleaner swing and improved results.

Wolters added that something as simple as seeing the ball all the way to his bat did wonders to help him hit better.

"He's made a couple of adjustments that he needed to make," Doyle said. "He needed to stay back behind the ball a little more and load up a little more and be more concerned about using his hands than his torso. He's come along really well."

Although Wolters has outhit starting catcher Nick Hundley since before May, Weiss doesn't envision shaking up the catching duties. Wolters has started 11 of 33 games in the second half, all but one of which pitted the left-handed-hitting Wolters against a right-handed starter.

"We've got a good situation back there," Weiss said.

Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.