Pettway Raising Game to New Level

Brian Pettway has been one of the hottest hitters in the Lansing lineup this season, and a feared bat in the middle of the order. He understands the big year he has ahead of him and after the first month of the season, he's proving he can rise up to the challenge.

"He's getting good pitches to hit and getting a good swing on them. They're finding their way over the fence or in the gap. He's leading the teams in runs batted in right now," said hitting coach Charles Pope.

Pettway also leads the team with four home runs and six doubles. Pettway, the coaching staff, and Toronto's developmental staff knows how big of a season this is for the outfielder. This is Pettway's second season with Lansing and manager Gary Cathcart said Pettway knows it's a pivotal year for him.

"He's doing a nice job," said Cathcart. "He is going to be right in the middle of the lineup for us. It's a big year for him, and we need him. He needs to have a good year. As of right now, he's off to a good start."

Despite the good start, the side work doesn't stop for Pettway as Pope mentioned.

"For him we're just working on really staying up the middle because he gets himself in trouble trying to pull the ball a little bit too much," said Pope. "And he swings at that ball over his eyes to strike out. But you know strike outs are going to happen, that's one of the things we've been working on though."

Lansing had a franchise record ten game winning streak earlier this month, and the outfielder acknowledges winning is just as important as development.

"It's important to win every," said Pettway. "It's important to win everyone you play. You really don't want to loose because it's a bad feeling for everyone, the fans, coaches, staff upstairs. As long as you're winning everything's going great and everyone's in a good mood. That's a good thing. In the clubhouse we're keeping the manager happy."

Pettway pitched in high school and college in Mississippi, which one would think could be attributed to his good throwing arm, but he says its genetics.

"I'd have to give that credit to my parents because they both have good arms," said Pettway. "My mom played softball and my dad pitched in college, but definitely, both pitching in high school and college could've helped. It didn't hurt - that's for sure. It's just good mechanics. When I was growing up my father taught me to throw the ball hard."

However, being a pitcher for years does explain his pick for favorite major leaguer.

"It's to be John Smoltz," said Pettway. "I've always admired him as a player; he's an old fashion guy. I've looked up to him and tried to model myself after him when I pitched in high school and college. He's a great athlete, not just as a pitcher, but he can hit a little bit too. Hopefully I can get up there and get to hit against him."

Future Jays Top Stories