Combating the shift: Learning from two players who have changed their approach

Jed Lowrie and Kyle Seager have both changed their approach at the plate this season to counter the defensive shifts they've been seeing -- with different results. Getty Images

As fellow ESPN Insider Scott Spratt detailed last week, there have never been as many shifts in Major League Baseball as there are now. The number of players shifted in the final pitch of a hitter's at-bat has gone from around one per game in 2010 to a whopping 14.8 this year.

If you're one of those hitters who suddenly faces a shift every game, your career has come to a fork in the road. You can continue to play to your strengths and not concern yourself with the shift, or you can change your approach as a hitter. Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, this year's second-most-shifted player, has an advertisement on television right now in which he talks about his hitting approach: "They ain't in the bleachers." So there you have it; he's not changing much. And most of the league's most-shifted players take that approach.

But some hitters choose to adjust their approach -- Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas is among the most notable -- and there are multiple ways to do so. Jed Lowrie and Kyle Seager are both trying to change their approach versus the shift this season, and what they've learned -- and shared with me recently -- could be meaningful for the rest of baseball.

Today I break down what they said to me and use everything from performance numbers to hit charts to swing percentages to see how it has gone for them. (All information is through Tuesday's games.)