Jake Fox Talks About Hot Start

DES MOINES – Iowa Cubs first baseman/outfielder Jake Fox was recently named the Pacific Coast League's Hitter of the Week for April 9-19. Fox led the league in home runs, hits, RBIs, runs scored and total bases in that stretch while batting .478.

"It's an honor," Fox said. "But at the same time, I don't just want to be the PCL Player of the Week. It'll be a bigger honor if I can get if for the year. To me, it isn't about how you perform during one week or one month, but how you perform throughout the season."

Fox's hot start is a turn-around from last season when he batted a shy .222 in 29 games with Iowa before being sent to Class AA Tennessee. He found his stroke against Southern League pitching, batting .307 with 25 home runs in 105 games.

"Last year, I got off to a really poor start," Fox said. "And I didn't want to let that happen again this year. I came out this year and instead of trying to do more that I was capable of doing, I just came out and tried to be consistent. This year, I wanted to make sure I got off to a good start."

Mission accomplished.

Fox opened the 2009 season with a 12-game hitting streak, and during that time he clubbed seven home runs, 24 RBIs and had 14 runs scored. He is currently boasting a .404 average, which he attributes to newfound patience at the plate.

"The biggest part of my game that I've been trying to add on to is seeing more pitches," he said. "I want to make the pitcher work harder to get me out. I've really strived to be more disciplined at the plate and get into better hitters counts so I'd see better pitches to hit. One of the biggest criticisms of me as a hitter is that I've always been very impatient."

Not this year. Fox's selective hitting style has been proven effective, as he helped Iowa to a 10-5 start through their first 15 games.

Fox already has six doubles on the year and had a banner day on April 14 with four hits, including two home runs, and five RBIs in a win at Albuquerque.

"I would attribute my increase in power and increase in performance to getting into better counts and seeing better pitches," Fox said. "I came here this year to prove a point, and I want to be able to play consistently throughout the season."

Fox was a third-round Cubs draft pick in 2003. After the 2007 season, he made the full-time position change from catcher to outfielder and is now starting at first base and right field for Iowa.

Worrying about room on the Cubs' major league roster is in the back of his mind, Fox says.

"That is a concern," he said. "But I'm not just playing for the Cubs; there are 29 other teams out there that need players. I want to play for the Cubs and I always have. I love the Cubs and that would be a dream come true. But at the same time, if I'm not in their plans for the future then maybe another team will give me a chance.

"I know I have something to offer for a team. I know I can fit in somewhere and play at that level."

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