Buck Coats Q&A

Buck Coats had an ugly first month to begin 2007, batting below the Mendoza Line until early May. Since then, the outfielder has batted .393 in 38 games, including .500 (20-for-40) in June, for Triple-A Iowa.

With a 5-for-5 showing on Tuesday night that included two home runs and five RBIs against Memphis, Coats is batting a season-best .317 in 63 games.

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What's been the reason for your turnaround after the rough start?

I haven't changed anything really. I think I've just been relaxing a little more and trying not to press any more. I've been trying to have fun again. Things have just been happening.

Had you been pressing like that any time previously in your career?

Just during the beginning of the season, I started out so slow and all the way through May, I was hitting under .200. You try to figure out ways and ways to get out of it (the rut) and nothing worked. I was hitting with (Iowa hitting coach) Von (Joshua) every day and it gradually got better. I started to find holes and started to get better. That led to me relaxing more.

Is your improvement solely about the relaxation angle?

Nah, really it's just getting your confidence back. Everything is really the same. You go through these streaks where everything falls into place and the next few days, they don't. I've also been bunting and just trying to get into hitters counts instead of letting them get ahead of me too quickly.

Von always says the big thing at this level is getting your timing down. How was your timing during the struggles?

It's gotten better gradually, but I had timing at the beginning of the season and the ball just wasn't falling. You can have timing and not do well. You can have your timing and still hit the ball right at people. During the course of the season, you have to have it more consistently because your numbers will follow.

What do you think of all of your teammates getting called up?

It's great and I'm happy for them. I'm glad for them. Mike Fontenot deserved it. He's been hot and it's awesome. The guys you play with going up there, that's great.

With you hitting so well right now, have you put much thought into going up yourself? You were one of the final roster cuts in spring camp after all.

Nah, you can't really think about that stuff. It's just like any other thing; you have to do your job down here. Whatever happens up there will happen. I try not to worry about it. I've never worried before, so why start now.

Your team is in first place. Is that really something all of you are thinking about right now?

I think we just go out and play the game every day. When the time comes, we'll see where we're at then. It's been fun, I know that. We have had a good team this first half and guys have been playing really well. We had Daryle Ward here for a little while on rehab. It's fun to be around him. Everybody's done well. (Felix) Pie was doing great; Fontenot was doing great before they got called up. Koyie Hill and (Geovany) Soto are having a heck of a year, too. It's been fun.


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