Plawecki Focused On The Now

SAVANNAH, GA - To say that Savannah catcher Kevin Plawecki has gotten off to a hot start this season would be an understatement. The 6-foot-2, 225 pound catcher currently boasts the second highest batting average in the South Atlantic League. Combine that with his top five on-base percentage and slugging percentage, and you've got one of the most exciting young players in the Mets' organization.

It should come as no surprise that Plawecki has gotten off to such an incredible start after his stellar collegiate career prior to signing with the Mets.

The right-handed catcher finished his 2012 season at Purdue with Big Ten Player of the Year honors and as a top three finalist for the Johnny Bench Award for the nation's top collegiate catcher prior to being drafted by the Mets in the first round as the 35th overall pick.

Despite his early success, Plawecki said that his main focus is trying to keep everything simple and improve every day.

"I've just been staying consistent," Plawecki said. "I'm not getting too big with my swing. I'm keeping my hands and feet in sync and keeping things as simple as possible. I'm just focused on having a good trigger and making sure everything is on time."

Plawecki's simple approach at the plate has led to him becoming one of the most dangerous and effective hitters in the South Atlantic League, and Sand Gnats hitting Coach Joel Fuentes said that he's been more than impressed with his productivity in the lineup so far this season.

"He's seeing the ball very well. He's recognizing the strike zone and putting the barrel of the bat there," Fuentes said.

Sand Gnats manager Luis Rojas agreed that Plawecki's approach at the plate has been fantastic in the early part of his first full season of professional ball, and that he's taking the right steps to continue to dominate at the low-A level.

"Discipline has been the key," Rojas said. "His approach has been about swinging at balls that he can drive. He's been working counts and sometimes if it's the first pitch of the at-bat that he can drive he's been going for it. His overall approach and getting his pitch to hit is what's led to his success so far."

With five home runs and 19 doubles so far this season, Plawecki has already proven that he's capable of scorching line drives and occasionally launching a ball out of the park. Despite showing off some of his power early in the season, Plawecki said that he's not worried about hitting for power, insisting that developing as an all-around hitter will allow the power to come naturally.

"If you try to do too much with the power you get too big with it and you end up pulling off balls and you don't get as many hits as you'd like. I just focus on trying to hit the ball hard every time and let the results take care of themselves," Plawecki said.

Calling Grayson Stadium home is a tough pill for young hitters like Plawecki to swallow. The dimensions at the historic ballpark help pitchers thrive and make home runs seem as rare as a perfect game. Hitting in Grayson Stadium has been a challenge for Plawecki, a challenge that he has continued to overcome almost every time he steps up to the plate.

"You obviously can't be swinging for the fences [at Grayson Stadium]," Plawecki said. "I just try to hit the ball hard and shoot it through the infield and those balls will find gaps. I've been lucky to find a few this season. Hopefully it keeps up and hopefully I continue to find those holes and find those gaps to keep getting on base."

Rojas and Fuentes agreed that Plawecki needs to continue to focus on remaining a consistent line drive hitter, saying the power will develop naturally.

"We still want him to develop as a good hitter. The power is going to come into play but the priority is to become a good hitter and keep developing as a consistent hitter," Rojas said.

"As long as he keeps that good approach at the plate, then home runs and doubles will come," Fuentes said. "Right now I want him to focus on hitting the ball from gap to gap, especially in this ballpark because it's so big. I want to make sure he learns how to drive the ball and hit line drives, and the power will show up later on."

If you had to pinpoint a part of Plawecki's game in need of improvement, it would have to be his defense [even though he's certainly no slouch behind the plate]. As a young catcher, Plawecki said that the pitching staff in Savannah has helped him develop as a better catcher, and that he is continuing to work on becoming a better defensive player.

"I feel like the pitching staff has done a great job so far, and it's been great to work with those guys this season," Plawecki said. "They've had a lot of success.

"Defensively it's my job to hold them accountable. I have a leadership role back there [behind the plate], I'm their eyes on the field, so it's important for me to work well with the pitchers along with all of the other defenders on the field and I think I've done pretty well so far," Plawecki added.

Rojas said that Plawecki's defense has been solid so far this season, and added that with a little fine-tuning he has the potential to develop into a major league-caliber catcher.

"Right now I think he has room to improve his defense a little bit. He's been doing well, but he still has room to keep getting better and to develop into a big league catcher," Rojas said.

With Plawecki's dominating start to the 2013 season, it's hard to imagine that he'll be playing at the low-A level for much longer. Plawecki entered the season as a top-20 prospect in the Mets' organization, and he has clearly exceeded the already-high expectations that he carried into his first full year of professional baseball.

Rojas said that a promotion could very well be in the future for Plawecki, but that he needs to continue to focus on performing in Savannah.

"Right now I think he can play at the next level with his maturity and the way that he's been handling pitchers, and that's something that's eventually going to happen, but right now his focus, as it should be, is playing here in Savannah," Rojas said.

"Every day he focuses on the team that he's going to face and the pitcher that he'll face. Right now I think he's just focused on his season here and if he gets that promotion then he'll have earned it."

It would be easy for a young player who's had incredible success early in his career to lose sight of the hard work needed to move up the organizational ladder, but Plawecki certainly knows that the only way for him to move up is for him to continue to work hard and hone his skills at the low-A level.

"It's one of those things that you can't control. You can control how hard you work when you come to the field every day and the amount of effort you put in. That's the part that you can control and that's the part that I've been controlling in my baseball career," Plawecki said.

"I don't think there's any reason to focus on a promotion or anything like that. When you try to do things that you're not capable of doing you start to put pressure on yourself that you don't need. I don't think I need to focus on [moving up], I just focus on what I need to do each day," Plawecki added.

It's safe to say that success hasn't gone to Plawecki's head. His impressive stats have almost certainly caught the attention of everyone in the Mets' organization, and his maturity and work ethic compliment those numbers to make him one of the more promising prospects in Minor League Baseball.

Baseball is a game of failure, but Plawecki is about as close to perfection at this stage in his young career as anyone could have hoped. Although he continues to find success, Plawecki said that he is still focused on improving every aspect of his game, and he knows that his simple approach to the complicated game of baseball will help him thrive in his career.

"The beauty of this game is that you can never be perfect with it," Plawecki said. "Consistency every single day is important. I'm gonna continue to work on the things that I'm good at and work more on what I think I can improve on. If I can do those things then better things well happen and more results will come."


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nIt should come as no surprise that Plawecki has gotten off to such an incredible start after his stellar collegiate career prior to signing with the Mets.
\r\n
\r\nThe right-handed catcher finished his 2012 season at Purdue with Big Ten Player of the Year honors and as a top three finalist for the Johnny Bench Award for the nation's top collegiate catcher prior to being drafted by the Mets in the first round as the 35th overall pick.
\r\n
\r\nDespite his early success, Plawecki said that his main focus is trying to keep everything simple and improve every day.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've just been staying consistent,\" Plawecki said. \"I'm not getting too big with my swing. I'm keeping my hands and feet in sync and keeping things as simple as possible. I'm just focused on having a good trigger and making sure everything is on time.\"
\r\n
\r\nPlawecki's simple approach at the plate has led to him becoming one of the most dangerous and effective hitters in the South Atlantic League, and Sand Gnats hitting Coach Joel Fuentes said that he's been more than impressed with his productivity in the lineup so far this season.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's seeing the ball very well. He's recognizing the strike zone and putting the barrel of the bat there,\" Fuentes said.
\r\n
\r\nSand Gnats manager Luis Rojas agreed that Plawecki's approach at the plate has been fantastic in the early part of his first full season of professional ball, and that he's taking the right steps to continue to dominate at the low-A level.
\r\n
\r\n\"Discipline has been the key,\" Rojas said. \"His approach has been about swinging at balls that he can drive. He's been working counts and sometimes if it's the first pitch of the at-bat that he can drive he's been going for it. His overall approach and getting his pitch to hit is what's led to his success so far.\"
\r\n
\r\nWith five home runs and 19 doubles so far this season, Plawecki has already proven that he's capable of scorching line drives and occasionally launching a ball out of the park. Despite showing off some of his power early in the season, Plawecki said that he's not worried about hitting for power, insisting that developing as an all-around hitter will allow the power to come naturally.
\r\n
\r\n\"If you try to do too much with the power you get too big with it and you end up pulling off balls and you don't get as many hits as you'd like. I just focus on trying to hit the ball hard every time and let the results take care of themselves,\" Plawecki said.
\r\n
\r\nCalling Grayson Stadium home is a tough pill for young hitters like Plawecki to swallow. The dimensions at the historic ballpark help pitchers thrive and make home runs seem as rare as a perfect game. Hitting in Grayson Stadium has been a challenge for Plawecki, a challenge that he has continued to overcome almost every time he steps up to the plate.
\r\n
\r\n\"You obviously can't be swinging for the fences [at Grayson Stadium],\" Plawecki said. \"I just try to hit the ball hard and shoot it through the infield and those balls will find gaps. I've been lucky to find a few this season. Hopefully it keeps up and hopefully I continue to find those holes and find those gaps to keep getting on base.\"
\r\n
\r\nRojas and Fuentes agreed that Plawecki needs to continue to focus on remaining a consistent line drive hitter, saying the power will develop naturally.
\r\n
\r\n\"We still want him to develop as a good hitter. The power is going to come into play but the priority is to become a good hitter and keep developing as a consistent hitter,\" Rojas said.
\r\n
\r\n\"As long as he keeps that good approach at the plate, then home runs and doubles will come,\" Fuentes said. \"Right now I want him to focus on hitting the ball from gap to gap, especially in this ballpark because it's so big. I want to make sure he learns how to drive the ball and hit line drives, and the power will show up later on.\"
\r\n
\r\nIf you had to pinpoint a part of Plawecki's game in need of improvement, it would have to be his defense [even though he's certainly no slouch behind the plate]. As a young catcher, Plawecki said that the pitching staff in Savannah has helped him develop as a better catcher, and that he is continuing to work on becoming a better defensive player.
\r\n
\r\n\"I feel like the pitching staff has done a great job so far, and it's been great to work with those guys this season,\" Plawecki said. \r\n\"They've had a lot of success.
\r\n
\r\n\"Defensively it's my job to hold them accountable. I have a leadership role back there [behind the plate], I'm their eyes on the field, so it's important for me to work well with the pitchers along with all of the other defenders on the field and I think I've done pretty well so far,\" Plawecki added.
\r\n
\r\nRojas said that Plawecki's defense has been solid so far this season, and added that with a little fine-tuning he has the potential to develop into a major league-caliber catcher.
\r\n
\r\n\"Right now I think he has room to improve his defense a little bit. He's been doing well, but he still has room to keep getting better and to develop into a big league catcher,\" Rojas said.
\r\n
\r\nWith Plawecki's dominating start to the 2013 season, it's hard to imagine that he'll be playing at the low-A level for much longer. Plawecki entered the season as a top-20 prospect in the Mets' organization, and he has clearly exceeded the already-high expectations that he carried into his first full year of professional baseball.
\r\n
\r\nRojas said that a promotion could very well be in the future for Plawecki, but that he needs to continue to focus on performing in Savannah.
\r\n
\r\n\"Right now I think he can play at the next level with his maturity and the way that he's been handling pitchers, and that's something that's eventually going to happen, but right now his focus, as it should be, is playing here in Savannah,\" Rojas said.
\r\n
\r\n\"Every day he focuses on the team that he's going to face and the pitcher that he'll face. Right now I think he's just focused on his season here and if he gets that promotion then he'll have earned it.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt would be easy for a young player who's had incredible success early in his career to lose sight of the hard work needed to move up the organizational ladder, but Plawecki certainly knows that the only way for him to move up is for him to continue to work hard and hone his skills at the low-A level.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's one of those things that you can't control. You can control how hard you work when you come to the field every day and the amount of effort you put in. That's the part that you can control and that's the part that I've been controlling in my baseball career,\" Plawecki said.
\r\n
\r\n\"I don't think there's any reason to focus on a promotion or anything like that. When you try to do things that you're not capable of doing you start to put pressure on yourself that you don't need. I don't think I need to focus on [moving up], I just focus on what I need to do each day,\" Plawecki added.
\r\n
\r\nIt's safe to say that success hasn't gone to Plawecki's head. His impressive stats have almost certainly caught the attention of everyone in the Mets' organization, and his maturity and work ethic compliment those numbers to make him one of the more promising prospects in Minor League Baseball.
\r\n
\r\nBaseball is a game of failure, but Plawecki is about as close to perfection at this stage in his young career as anyone could have hoped. Although he continues to find success, Plawecki said that he is still focused on improving every aspect of his game, and he knows that his simple approach to the complicated game of baseball will help him thrive in his career.
\r\n
\r\n\"The beauty of this game is that you can never be perfect with it,\" Plawecki said. \"Consistency every single day is important. I'm gonna continue to work on the things that I'm good at and work more on what I think I can improve on. If I can do those things then better things well happen and more results will come.\"
\r\n
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