Emanuele Adjusting to Full-Season Baseball

Chris Emanuele is one of only two players from Canada for the Lugnuts, a Blue Jays affiliate. The Mississauga, Ontario native has had a slow start offensively but shows promise according to manager Gary Cathcart.

"A lot of guys in his development stage have a hard time going back on the ball (defensively). He can go back on a ball as good as anyone I've seen, he's really fundamentally sound like that," said Cathcart.

The 23-year-old outfielder is hitting .206 through his first 11 games of the season.

"Offensively he needs to smooth things out a little bit, but he's got a lot of natural power, he's a strong kid. I'd really like to see him develop," said Cathcart.

"Right now I'm hitting the fastballs pretty good," said Emanuele. "I'm just not swinging at a lot of different pitches, not pulling the trigger right now. But I'm hitting a lot of fastballs; I want to go after some curve balls and trying to lay off the high ones."

And hitting coach, Charles Pope has been helping Emanuele get into a hitting groove.

"We're going in there everyday and taking a lot of batting practice, and after that taking an extra 10 or 15 at bats before the game - just getting in a routine that's working," said Emanuele.

He attributes some of his athletic ability to having played hockey when he was young, because as he said, hockey players have to be quick.

"He's pretty athletic which helps, on both sides of the plate," said Cathcart.

Emanuele was captain of his high school baseball team for three years.

"I'm not that talkative, I'm more of a lead by example kind of guy," said Emanuele.

Player a higher level of baseball is what he most looking forward to this year.

"It's been a great experience, the town's awesome, people are great around here," said Emanuele. "Just playing everyday, I'm adjusting from college ball to this level of play, it's been rough so far, but I hope to get better."

When it comes to baseball superstitions, Emanuele, has a lot of them.

"I get dressed the same everyday, put my batting gloves and hat on the same every game, walk up to the plate the same way," said Emanuele. "I always hop over the line with my left foot, that's a weird one. Tie your laces up the same way; it's a comfort zone kind of thing."

The Lugnuts went on a 10 game win streak, a franchise record, which could have something to do with the team's chemistry.

"We all get along great," said Emanuele. "I live with Kyle Ginley (pitcher) and we get along very well with him. We have really good chemistry going on."

Playing for the Blue Jays would mean more to Emanuele than others because he was born in Toronto.

"Just getting drafted by them was a dream come true," said Emanuele. "But I have a lot of friends and family up there that would be really supportive and appreciate it."

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