Lansing Lugnuts' hitting coach Charles Poe knows from first had experience about batting. With over nine year of experience in the minor leagues, mostly at the Triple-A level, Poe now shares his knowledge with the hitters on his team.
The 35-year-old is coaching some notable hitting prospects this season, and has broken down the aspect of hitting to get better results.
"I've been most impressed with our ability to get hits with two outs and two strikes, which has been good all year for us," said Poe.
"C Poe," as he's called around Oldsmobile Park, is optimistic about the Lugnuts' ability to start hitting like they were during their win streak in the beginning of the season.
"Now, I believe we're on our way back up. We need to walk around with that little swagger again, and guys will start gelling again."
Poe said he focuses on specific drills to maintain or perfect his hitters' mechanics throughout the rigorous season.
"Some players need to do off center drills to help the hitters keep their shoulders in the right position, which helps a lot of the guys to help stay on top of the ball a lot better," said Poe.
Sean Shoffit is hitting .263 as a utility player and part-time designated hitter. He has the highest on base percentage (.360), with 14 walks.
"He's a hard working guy, and so far I've been really impressed with him," said Poe.
Second baseman Scott Campbell is hitting .243 and typically is the type of player who draws a lot of walks. Poe said what he likes most about Campbell is his ability to hit the ball the other way.
"The thing for him, is he's just has to stay healthy, he's had a little bit of a hip flexor injury," said Poe. "Once that settles down and stop aggravating him so much, he'll start drawing those walks and getting those big hits like he was earlier in the year."
Outfielder Brian Pettway is hitting .211. He has hit five homeruns this year, but has struck out 57 times. Poe said Pettway is making the same hitting mistakes he did last year.
"We have to do more work with his pitch selection because he's been swinging at a lot of balls outside of the zone, and he knows it," said Poe. "We need to bring his eyes back inside the strike zone, because we don't like to get a lot of strike outs like that."
Yuber Rodriguez, who is hitting .210, is another player who has been making the same mistakes he has in years past. Poe said Rodriguez's hitting is inconsistent.
"Basically, I'm trying to get Yuber to hit more line drives, because he pops up the ball a lot," said Poe. "We try to do some off centerfield drills to get him to drive the ball hard up the middle and just get his eyes in a nice hitting position."
First baseman Matt Lane's batting average of .116, does not reflect his ability to hit the ball hard. Poe said he is optimistic that some of Lane's line drives will start to drop in for base hits.
"Sometimes I feel for him because he puts the ball in play very hard without the results," said Poe. "The main thing for him is just to keep his head cool because he's so frustrated with just lining out."
Outfielder and top prospect Travis Snider is averaging an impressive .352 with 50 hits 32 RBI, and he has been battling an injured oblique. The 19-year-old is an aggressive hitter with a great hitter's eye.
"He has been a little upset because he doesn't have very many homeruns, but I told him they're going to come," said Poe. "I told him to get back in your zone, back to your approach, hitting the ball the other way, and staying up the middle and he's going to the hits and the homeruns will come."
"He's got a better eye then some of these umpires I see," said Poe.
Snider Leading Lansing's Offense
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