Heading into the 2013 season, second baseman JaCoby Jones had one thing that he was working on correcting. In 2012 Jones had issues with not working the count in the offensive aspect of the game. Jones only had 15 walks in 2012, as compared to 47 strikeouts. It has been known for quite some time that 2013 would have to be the year for Jones to break out.
Coach Paul Mainieri has spoken all spring about the work that Jones was putting in with former Tiger Blake Dean to correct his swing and become more patient at the plate. So far in 2013, Jones is showing improvement in both areas and he proved that he could jump-start an offense on Sunday by hitting a homerun in his opening at-bat of the game.
"I was just seeing if he would throw me a fastball on that 3-1 count and he did," said Jones. "He caught a lot of the plate with it. I was locked in on one pitch and he threw exactly what I was looking for."
Freshman Alex Bregman credited Jones with getting the offense rolling on Sunday, something he expects to become pretty routine for LSU.
"JaCoby got us out of our funk today," said Bregman. "He is a great hitter and he is one of the leaders of the team. He got things moving in the right direction today."
With the changes in his approach being so noticeable early in the season, Jones understands that patience at the plate will produce better results. Three games into the 2013 season, Jones has already put those changes into motion.
"I'm just being patient at the plate," said Jones. "I'm seeing the fastballs and curveballs really well and I'm laying off of stuff out of the zone. Those are some things that I haven't done in the past. Patience is key for me and I also have started trusting my hands a lot more."
Because of his new patient approach at the plate, Jones explained that it provided him with an opportunity to get a ball to hit and set the tone for the rest of the day.
"I just tried to take the pitch into the gap," said Jones. "He left it up a little bit more than I was expecting and I just took advantage of getting a good fastball to hit."
After scoring a combined six runs in the first two games against Maryland, LSU erupted to have a 14 run day on Sunday at Alex Box Stadium. Jones attributed the success of the Tigers in game three to the change in weather and a more relaxed team attitude.
"The first few days, it wasn't a hitter's park, especially with it being cold and the wind blowing in so hard," said Jones. "We played through it and got two wins. Today was a great today to play baseball and we took advantage of the wind blowing out with a lot of hits."
"We were a little antsy the first couple of days because some of our guys are so young. We came out very relaxed today and we played very well."
Jones also explained that confidence is building within the starting lineup for LSU and it was very evident on Sunday.
"Our confidence was up today with the wind blowing out," said Jones. "We were able to string together a lot of hits and produce a bunch of runs. It was a total team effort today."
New approach working for Jones
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