Top prospect Cox working on his swing

Top prospect Cox working on his swing

ST. LOUIS -- Having returned to the field earlier this week after a short stint on the disabled list, Zack Cox is now back at work trying to make a mechanical change in his swing, a change that the organization believes will pull Cox out of his early-season offensive woes.

Cox missed 12 days after being hit in the head with a pitch in a game on May 30. At the time, the 2010 first-round Draft pick was hitting just .209 through 50 games.

The organization expected a learning curve all along, given that Cox made the jump to Triple-A after just one full season in the Minors. But after combining to hit .306 at High-A and Double-A in 2011, this much of a production dip wasn't necessarily foreseen.

The Cardinals believe Cox will find some relief once he eliminates a particular head movement that became a part of his swing during Cox's days at the University of Arkansas. Work to remove the mechanical flaw began at the end of last season, and farm director John Vuch said that the Triple-A staff was beginning to make additional progress with Cox just before he went down.

That work has since resumed.

"One year at Arkansas he hit for power and not for average. This [head movement] was added and was more designed to help him hit for average," Vuch said. "He does make more contact that way, but it's not necessarily good contact. He's been very receptive to what we're trying to work on with hitting. It's not like he's been resistant. But it's not something that happens overnight."

Cox has four hits in his 13 at-bats since coming off the DL. Cox is ranked by MLB.com as the organization's sixth-best prospect.