Buck-in' Right Along

Despite a 0-for-3 performance, Iowa's Buck Coats managed to reach base for the 26th consecutive game to open the season Monday. Inside, Coats talks about his success in 2006, the move to the outfield, and more.

Coats' 15-game hitting streak came to an end in Iowa's 7-4 loss to Memphis on Monday night. The team managed four hits, but Coats continues to hold the Pacific Coast League's longest consecutive on-base streak at 26 games to open the year. He is batting .353 with three home runs, four doubles and 12 RBIs.

Q: What a nice start you've gotten off to. How do you define the success you've had this year?

A: I really can't put it into words. I'm seeing the ball well this year. I'm getting good pitches to hit and good things have just been happening. It's a day-to-day thing.

Q: With Von Joshua moving up to Triple-A after being your hitting coach last year at West Tenn, how much of a comfort zone has that provided?

A: Von is a good hitting coach and knows what he's teaching. He knows me after dealing with me all of last year, so he knows when I start getting in trouble and what I need to be doing. It does help you out.

Q: One of the things that people always pointed out in previous years was your defense and the error totals at short. Now that you've moved to the outfield, is there any less pressure that's helped you concentrate more on hitting?

A: I'm a little more relaxed in the outfield, sure. I still play the infield once a week, or once every five games. With the outfield, it comes a little easier and takes a little stress off of me.

Q: You've made a couple of starts in center recently with Felix Pie in right. Are we reading too much into this, or is the plan still to keep you in right with Pie primarily in center?

A: He and I were just switching around. Most outfielders I think can play all three positions, so we're just trying to get some playing time at the different spots.

Q: How do you like the outfield in general?

A: I like it. I'm getting a lot of work in right field. I'm getting a little better and more comfortable, and I think that's the key. In right, the ball comes off the bat a little differently, so I'm trying to get as many good reads as I can.

Q: I've noticed in most of your starts this year that you've been batting in the No. 3 spot, whereas last year you drifted between fifth and sixth in the lineup. Has batting third helped your average somewhat?

A: With the guys in front of me, they get on base and things just happen. That's the way it's been working out and hopefully it will keep up.

Q: How much has the experience in the Arizona Fall League last year benefited you this season?

A: I learned a lot there. Even though I was on the taxi squad, I played with a bunch of different players there. The guys on our team had a lot of time up around the big league club and I asked as many questions as I could. I didn't play every day, but I tried to learn as much as I could. I was playing with some of the best and had a good time.

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