If the players didn't listen to him we would have hit 200 HR again, right?
Truthfully... what a weird horsefeathering year. We literally had the highest non-pitcher wRC+ in the entire league at the half. We were rolling. I was fine with the approach as we were scoring a horsefeathers ton of runs... and then they just, disappeared. Bryant getting hurt (which, really, his season turned after that [expletive] Marquez beaned him) had a noticeable effect but there was still talent there to produce runs. We went from a 265/345 to a 245/315. IMO, quite a bit of this falls on Maddon. From day 1 he hasn't exactly been a proponent of the modern way of preparation (he never wanted to bog his young hitters down with information and have them thinking too much at the plate, and I think this has factored in the lack of improvement among several players; in fact I don't feel like many of our guys watch video and look at heat maps and the like) and he espoused the value of using the whole field (which, I have done, also) and passing the baton down the line.
I think the hitters listened.
I saw a whole lot of passive contact. No real idea of what's coming and just helplessly trying to put the ball in play. In this day and age that just doesn't play. I wanted our young hitters to hit more balls to the opposite field, but with authority. Know that they are staying outside and horsefeathering sit on that horsefeathers. We probably allowed 5x the amount of oppo bombs as we hit ourselves. If you took Javy out of the equation it is probably 10x (i am clearly exaggerating). See, Javy adapted. He knew that nobody wants to come in on him so he started sitting on outside pitches (and curveballs, which the rest of the team looks funny swinging at) and crushing em. Not all of them cleared the wall but this is how he racked up so many XBH. Javy increased his oppo rate by 5% and his hard contact by 3. Not massive jumps but noticeable. Javy seemed like the only young/core player who adjusted to how he was being pitched consistently... and that's pretty frightening.
What you have is a bunch of guys out there winging it. The way that Joe likes it. While the rest of the league turned the screws we just flailed away.
We now have our 3rd hitting coach of the Maddon era, which isn't a great look for the organization, IMO. But Joe has to shoulder a lot of that blame.