Atkinson Focused Up The Middle

Justin Atkinson, this year's 26th round pick out of Canada, made a solid first impression during his brief time in the Gulf Coast League. While he mostly played third base there, he says his main focus during Instructs was to prove to the Jays' brass that he has what it takes to stay up the middle.

Though he reported to Dunedin back in July 9th, a minor hiccup with his work visa delayed his GCL debut until late July. That limited him to just twelve games, but he hit a solid .279 with four extra-base hits.

"I think I did well with what playing time they gave me," Atkinson opined. "I showed them what I can do basically. I feel pretty good about myself."

He is talking about the bat mostly because in the field they had him playing third base and not either second base or the shortstop position he had grown accustomed to playing over the years.

"During the GCL they had me playing third base and I don't really like it that much so I went into Instructs basically trying to persuade the Blue Jays that I can play up the middle and not on the corner because I feel more comfortable up the middle than on the corners," he said. "My goal was to persuade them that I can play second or short, not third."

While he made some noise with the bat too, it was at second base during Instructs where he did make some highlight reel defensive plays and he feels he proved himself a bit up the middle.

"I think I did," he said. "[Roving infield coach] Mike Mordecai says he likes me at second [base] but could also picture me at the shortstop position [too] so I guess I got some of that accomplished."

Now that he has his eyes fully set on his first Spring Training next year, Atkinson, who has set the goal of breaking camp with a long-season league team or at least with the Vancouver Canadians later next summer, plans on keep attacking his middle infield desires this offseason.

"I'm just trying to get my footwork down a little quicker so I can stay up the middle," he concluded.


Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nThough he reported to Dunedin back in July 9th, a minor hiccup with his work visa delayed his GCL debut until late July. That limited him to just twelve games, but he hit a solid .279 with four extra-base hits.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think I did well with what playing time they gave me,\" Atkinson opined. \"I showed them what I can do basically. I feel pretty good about myself.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe is talking about the bat mostly because in the field they had him playing third base and not either second base or the shortstop position he had grown accustomed to playing over the years.
\r\n
\r\n\"During the GCL they had me playing third base and I don't really like it that much so I went into Instructs basically trying to persuade the Blue Jays that I can play up the middle and not on the corner because I feel more comfortable up the middle than on the corners,\" he said. \"My goal was to persuade them that I can play second or short, not third.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile he made some noise with the bat too, it was at second base during Instructs where he did make some highlight reel defensive plays and he feels he proved himself a bit up the middle.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think I did,\" he said. \"[Roving infield coach] Mike Mordecai says he likes me at second [base] but could also picture me at the shortstop position [too] so I guess I got some of that accomplished.\"
\r\n
\r\nNow that he has his eyes fully set on his first Spring Training next year, Atkinson, who has set the goal of breaking camp with a long-season league team or at least with the Vancouver Canadians later next summer, plans on keep attacking his middle infield desires this offseason.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm just trying to get my footwork down a little quicker so I can stay up the middle,\" he concluded.
\r\n
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