Spotlight On… Rays Prospect Jake Bauers
Jake Bauers joined the Tampa Bay Rays organization in December 2014 via a trade by the San Diego Padres after being drafted by the team in the 7th round of the 2014 MLB Draft. But one person in the Rays camp already knew him well (see the first quote) and was excited about the top first baseman prospect’s arrival. Bauers began the 2015 season with the High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs, and is currently hitting .264/.418/.509.
He spoke before a game last weekend and here’s what he had to say about keys to success and looking ahead.
On his Comfort Level in New Organization: I’m definitely one hundred percent now. It just takes some time in the clubhouse, getting to know the new guys. You get comfortable. (Stone Crabs manager Michael Johns called him ‘a great teammate’ as well)
Keys to his Success: Definitely just getting my pitch. Not giving into a pitcher’s pitch in a hitter’s count. Taking those tough ones that might be a strike, and waiting to get a better pitch later in the at-bat.
On Lessons Learned from Midwest League in 2014: Definitely how good the pitchers were. You get in a pitchers count you’re not get anything to hit. You can’t miss, and when you do then you’re in a hole and you gotta battle your ass off. Then it’s between you and the pitcher.
On Manager Michael Johns: We talked last year, he was complimentary of me then. It’s an easy relationship. We have a good back and forth every day. [Hitting coach] Joe [Szekely]really knows a lot about approach. And that’s what I’m working on this year. [He also mentioned that sometimes he gets “a little too aggressive”]
What he Hopes to Accomplish in 2015: I want to play well enough to get to Double-A , sooner than later. Whether I get there by the end of this year or start there next year.
Follow Jake on Twitter @JakeBauers11. For additional coverage of the Stone Crabs and the Florida State League, head over to MinorLeagueBall.com. You can also read Michael Johns additional comments there about his team later this week.