Barry Bonds has entered baseball's launch-angle debate.
The Giants legend and MLB's all-time home-run leader unsurprisingly is against the modern teaching of a swing that gets the bat on an uphill plane quicker. Instead, Bonds argues the swing his father Bobby taught him -- which focuses on swinging down through the zone and using your top hand as a guide -- led to his 762 career long balls.
What bothers Bonds much more than teaching hitters launch angle, though, is the lack of bunting in baseball. That's right, the greatest power hitter in baseball wants to see more bunts.
Bonds laid down four sacrifice bunts in his 22-year career, and personally, Barry bunting for a base hit doesn't come to mind. If he did, however, Bonds believes he would have pulled off a feat that hasn't been accomplished since Ted Williams in 1941.
"My job was to do what I did -- drive in runs. I didn't bunt. I could have bunted and hit .400," Bonds said while FaceTiming none other than former three-time MVP Alex Rodriguez.
While Bonds isn't advocating for sluggers such as Dodgers star Cody Bellinger and Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge to start squaring around for a bunt, the Giants legend doesn't understand why more players aren't beating the shift by laying one down. Here in the Bay Area, left-handers such as Giants first baseman Brandon Belt and A's first baseman Matt Olson have dropped down a bunt several times with third base vacated.
"Unless you're the No. 4 hitter who's supposed to drive in runs, I have the third baseman at shortstop. I would bunt every time until he moves back to third and now I'm hitting .400," Bonds said.
Bonds has been working in the offseason with Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler for years now, and Fowler came to him for advice when he was really struggling at the plate. Bonds had one word for Fowler: "Bunt!"
For Bonds, a lost key to bunting is having a feel for the bat and seeing a pitch deep. He believes it's the ultimate tool to getting out of a slump for a struggling player.
"Bunting has always been a key to get you lined up ... it's gonna slow things down to me," he explained.
When Bonds watches baseball today, he doesn't see players trying to be "complete hitters." In his eyes, players are becoming one dimensional at the plate and have less of a feel for the game.
This, according to the Home Run King, is a direct result of relying on sabermetrics.
"Baseball is an eye-hand coordination sport," Bonds said. "You gotta get in the fire to feel what it's like to be burned. There's no computer that can do that."
It's hard to argue against the greatest hitter of all time. At the same time, however, someone who studied the art of hitting as much as he did surely would find ways to combine data and his own hitting instincts to become the complete player Bonds wants to see in today's game if given the opportunity.