Sunday, March 20, 2011
Notes from Batting Practice
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Fernando Martineztook batting practice on and off for about an hour and a half. He was hitting soft line drives to the outfield consistently but was not able to drive the ball to the gaps. Martinez drifted through some of the batting drills and appeared disinterested at times.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit the ball with authority fitting his billing as one of the Mets’ top prospects. In batting practice he hit six straight home runs, tearing the cover off the ball. J.P. Riccardi, special assistant to General Manager Sandy Aldersen, was in attendance and appeared impressed by Nieuwenhuis’ stroke and pop. Kirk hit for about an hour in total with each proceeding round better than the last. Nieuwenhuis smacked towering balls to right field with more than a few sailing over the fence. He was no question the stand out player at camp today.
Jordany Valdespin was nothing short of horrendous in batting practice, pounding pitch after pitch down into the infield dirt. Wally Backman came to throw batting practice and he seemed discouraged by Valdespin’s effort. Valdespin did not have the focus at the plate that he showed four days ago when he hit a three run home run against Florida.
Kai Graneur did some cage work where his instructor had him work on moving his hands quicker to the ball and shortening his stroke. He hit some searing line drives back up the box that the instructors seemed to applaud. His technique and focus were on the mark.
Ruben Tejeda worked on his bunting. Tejeda had his fair share of great bunts that with his speed would have been base hits. Ruben is a light hitter and even in batting practice had trouble driving the ball to the outfield. He hit mostly sharp ground balls down to first base, but his bunting was coming along nicely.