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Magadan: Big difference in Ortiz

02.28.10 at 8:04 am ET

FORT MYERS, Fla. — David Ortiz spoke recently about the difference he feels this year, having started hitting as early as Jan. 2 after the previous offseason in which his wrist had limited any pre-spring training swinging.

Ortiz isn’t alone in seeing the benefits of the added preparation. Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan has noticed a marked difference in the slugger’s swing compared to last year at this time.

“No question about it,” Magadan said.

“It’s still early in the spring, but for the most part he’s a long way from where he was last spring. Prior to the WBC he came in and … for me when I see David hit he has great hands. When he came in last spring there was a lot of body. There was a lot of gearing up to try and generate bat speed and to me that’s not him. When he’s looking handsy at the plate, and inside the ball, and driving it the other way, that’s when he’s on his game. When he’s using a lot of body trying to generate his bat speed, to me that makes him longer and he loses driving the ball to the opposite field. He looks right now like he started to look at the end of last season.”

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