Patrick Saunders has an excellent article about Charlie Blackmon's role in the development of Charlie Blackmon into an outstanding leadoff hitter and center fielder. In other words, Blackmon's extraordinary work ethic, focus, and preparation have contributed to his success. Everyone from manager Walt Weiss to DJ LeMahieu, one of Blackmon's best friends and offseason workout partners, affirm how seriously Blackmon takes his on-field performance.
This is a valuable view into what can push a ballplayer from good to great. There are a lot of athletically gifted and talented baseball players who remain static due to things that take place outside of games. An even worse scenario is someone like Ian Stewart, whose brief and poor career can be attributed to his own apathy. This is the stuff that scouts call make up. It's hard to quantify, and it can make an enormous difference.
Thomas Harding looks back at Jeff Hoffman's less than spectacular major-league debut on Saturday. Specifically, he notes that Hoffman didn't exhibit any nerves. Not only that, but Harding notes that Hoffman was conscious of some of the reasons why he had such a bad outing. Around here, we might say he got BABIP'd; there, "Hoffman acknowledged that some ground balls simply went where fielders weren't." This is a nice recap that could be summarized as Hoffman suggesting that he was happy with the process, but not the results. Speaking of make up, that's not bad either.