In the early part of the minor league season, players are simply getting back into the routine of playing everyday. There are no guarantees, no big league opportunity presenting itself just yet, at least not to the majority of minor leaguers. There are key words you'll hear a lot talking to them, especially in the dawn of April. One word oft-repeated is comfort.
Catcher Nick Ciuffo, 22, currently playing for the Montgomery Biscuits, seems quite comfortable at the plate this season, if the numbers are any indication. He currently leads the Southern League in doubles with 7 & his .469 OBP is 2nd.
Ciuffo recently made clear he's feeling at ease with the bat. And that goes for behind the plate too.
Here's what Ciuffo said about his early season comfort level among other things:
Every part of my game defensively has gotten 10 times better since 2013. Last year was a great year all around but throwing I felt like was the best part of my game. At the same time I don't throw out 60% without the help of a great pitching staff giving me a chance every night to throw guys out
On leadership as a catcher:
On the field I feel like it's natural for me to try to lead pitchers and try to help them get the best out of what they have on that particular day.
At first it was difficult but once I settled in I felt real comfortable.
Early work at the plate:
The thing I've worked on the most is my leg kick. I've worked on seeing how early I can get it up. For me when it's at the top I'm ready to hit.