Confidence is key to Belt's success

Confidence is key to Belt's success

Confidence is key to Belt's success
ANAHEIM -- Before he started his seven-game hitting streak, Brandon Belt wasn't quite himself.

In 19 games from May 19-June 10, Belt was hitting .159 (7-for-44) with only two extra-base hits. There would be times when he would go consecutive days with a hit, but then go right back into a slump. The inconsistency took a toll on the 24-year-old's poise at the plate.

"In the past, even recently, I was running low on confidence," Belt said. "That's a big part of my game. A big part of the reason I wasn't succeeding was because I couldn't keep that confidence level up. I'd do good for a couple games, and then I'd do bad for a few games. The consistency wasn't there, so the confidence went down a little bit."

He has since worked on standing more upright in his swing and opening up a little bit, he said. His feet were too spread out before, and he wasn't bringing his hands to the ball quick enough. After making some adjustments to remedy those flaws, Belt is producing more consistently than he ever has.

During his seven-game stretch, Belt is batting .455 (10-for-22) with two doubles and three home runs, including a 2-for-2 game in Monday night's win against the Angels.

"I've been doing a couple of drills every day. One-handed drills that a lot of people do, but they've been helping me a great deal here lately," Belt said. "A combination of things have helped me get into that zone I need to."

Not only is Belt hitting more consistently, but he's in the lineup on a more consistent basis, as well. He has started nine straight games for the Giants, and after Monday's win, manager Bruce Bochy said the fact that Belt is in the lineup more has led to more production from the first baseman.

When a player knows he's going to be in the lineup even before he gets to the ballpark, it gives him a sense of comfort, Belt said. And being more comfortable before arriving to the park has led right into the game for Belt.

"You can get ready knowing that you're going to be in there," Belt said. "Just that the coaching staff has confidence in you, it gives you confidence. So I think that's helped a lot."