Hobson Sets His Sights Forward

LANSING, MI — Lugnuts first basemen K.C. Hobson didn't have the kind of first half he'd hoped for, but the brief All-Star break has led to a quick turnaround. Hobson talked about dealing with the first half frustration and putting that first half behind him.

"He's had a great start to the second half," Lansing Manager Mike Redmond said. "It's one of those situations where he had to get going. You know, he had a slow start. I don't think we were expecting him to have a slow start, but he did.

"I talked to him, we talked, and we had a great conversation. This game is not about how you start your season, it's about how you finish it. People don't remember what you did in April and May, they remember what you did in August and September and the end of the season."

Redmond talked about the mental aspect of what goes on when a player is scuffling and how to go about turning it around.

"A lot of the time struggles are in your mind," he said. "Everyone thinks they're physical, but it's mental. I know, I tell these guys because I've been there. I just went through it for almost twenty years.

"Everything I tell these guys is nothing I haven't done before because I struggled. I know the traps that you fall in mentally when you're struggling.

"So I tell them what I did to get out of it, but at the end of the day it's on them to take that and see if it makes sense or if it doesn't and go out there and put it in play."

Hobson hit just .252 with one home run and a .671 OPS in 62 games in the first half, which wasn't the kind of production most were expecting from the first basemen.

"Yeah, you know what, for me after the first half ended I just started a new season," Hobson said. "I put it behind me because I can't let it affect my second half play.

"I think a lot of it was mental, some of it was physical where I wasn't driving the ball like I was before. A lot of it was mental, man I was frustrated. I was taking it into my at-bats, I was taking it into the field. I talked to some people and I just had to wipe the slate clean for me.

"Most of it was mental frustration, that's what it was and learning how to deal with it. I feel like I only dealt so-so with it and in the future I'll be able to deal with it better."

Hobson credits his improved second half production [already two home runs and 16 RBI in 23 games], to his renewed outlook.

"I feel a little bit better now, I'm just more positive," he said. "It's not like I go 0-for-1 and ‘Oh, here we go' anymore. I go 0-for-1 and I still have three more at-bats. I do whatever I can."

"I think he went into the All-Star break, took a few days off, and said well that's that," Redmond said. "Nothing I can do about it, time to focus on the rest of the season. Ever since, he's been great, his energy's great. He's been totally different, having fun, enjoying baseball."

It seemed to have started immediately following the All-Star break as in the first game of the second half against the Great Lakes Loons, Hobson tied the game with an RBI in the seventh inning and later won the game with a two-run walk-off home run in the eleventh.

"That's the first walk-off home run I'd ever hit and that was a great experience," he said. "It was like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders since that point on as I've started to turn it on a little bit."

Redmond is encouraged by the second half Hobson has had so far, but notes that the player still has plenty to work on.

"He's done a good job, but there's parts of his game that he needs to work on too. He's got to work on his defense, his offense, base running. It's the same thing with a lot of these guys, their young and they need to get better.

"They all work hard, they get here early and do extra work. They do everything that we ask them to do and that's a good part of why you're seeing the results.

"We're always projecting the upside and his dad played in the big leagues so that's obviously where he wants to go. If all things come out, and project out, and he works and continues to improve, then he has a chance to play in the big leagues."


Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"He's had a great start to the second half,\" Lansing Manager Mike Redmond said. \"It's one of those situations where he had to get going. You know, he had a slow start. I don't think we were expecting him to have a slow start, but he did.
\r\n
\r\n\"I talked to him, we talked, and we had a great conversation. This game is not about how you start your season, it's about how you finish it. People don't remember what you did in April and May, they remember what you did in August and September and the end of the season.\"
\r\n
\r\nRedmond talked about the mental aspect of what goes on when a player is scuffling and how to go about turning it around.
\r\n
\r\n\"A lot of the time struggles are in your mind,\" he said. \"Everyone thinks they're physical, but it's mental. I know, I tell these guys because I've been there. I just went through it for almost twenty years.
\r\n
\r\n\"Everything I tell these guys is nothing I haven't done before because I struggled. I know the traps that you fall in mentally when you're struggling.
\r\n
\r\n\"So I tell them what I did to get out of it, but at the end of the day it's on them to take that and see if it makes sense or if it doesn't and go out there and put it in play.\"
\r\n
\r\nHobson hit just .252 with one home run and a .671 OPS in 62 games in the first half, which wasn't the kind of production most were expecting from the first basemen.
\r\n
\r\n\"Yeah, you know what, for me after the first half ended I just started a new season,\" Hobson said. \"I put it behind me because I can't let it affect my second half play.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think a lot of it was mental, some of it was physical where I wasn't driving the ball like I was before. A lot of it was mental, man I was frustrated. I was taking it into my at-bats, I was taking it into the field. I talked to some people and I just had to wipe the slate clean for me.
\r\n
\r\n\"Most of it was mental frustration, that's what it was and learning how to deal with it. I feel like I only dealt so-so with it and in the future I'll be able to deal with it better.\"
\r\n
\r\nHobson credits his improved second half production [already two home runs and 16 RBI in 23 games], to his renewed outlook.
\r\n
\r\n\"I feel a little bit better now, I'm just more positive,\" he said. \"It's not like I go 0-for-1 and ‘Oh, here we go' anymore. I go 0-for-1 and I still have three more at-bats. I do whatever I can.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I think he went into the All-Star break, took a few days off, and said well that's that,\" Redmond said. \"Nothing I can do about it, time to focus on the rest of the season. Ever since, he's been great, his energy's great. He's been totally different, having fun, enjoying baseball.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt seemed to have started immediately following the All-Star break as in the first game of the second half against the Great Lakes Loons, Hobson tied the game with an RBI in the seventh inning and later won the game with a two-run walk-off home run in the eleventh.
\r\n
\r\n\"That's the first walk-off home run I'd ever hit and that was a great experience,\" he said. \"It was like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders since that point on as I've started to turn it on a little bit.\"
\r\n
\r\nRedmond is encouraged by the second half Hobson has had so far, but notes that the player still has plenty to work on.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's done a good job, but there's parts of his game that he needs to work on too. He's got to work on his defense, his offense, base running. It's the same thing with a lot of these guys, their young and they need to get better.
\r\n
\r\n\"They all work hard, they get here early and do extra work. They do everything that we ask them to do and that's a good part of why you're seeing the results.
\r\n
\r\n\"We're always projecting the upside and his dad played in the big leagues so that's obviously where he wants to go. If all things come out, and project out, and he works and continues to improve, then he has a chance to play in the big leagues.\"
\r\n
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