Ivan the Versatile

The Brooklyn Cyclones offense has been hot and cold this season, starting off slowly but gradually picking up steam recently, leading them into a first place tie in the McNamara Division of the New York-Penn league.

It's no coincidence that the Cyclones started hitting once Ivan Naccarata joined the team.

The lefty-swinging third baseman played with Brooklyn last year, batting .234 with five homers and 20 RBIs, surprising power for a left handed hitter who plays in KeySpan Park, which is normally death on lefties who hit for power.

Naccarata bounced around Class-A ball this year, with stints in St. Lucie, Hagerstown and currently, back in Brooklyn.

Batting .244 in his second go-round with the Cyclones, with a homer and five RBIs, Naccarata talked about being in the Cyclones lineup and what he brings to the table in terms of run production.

"It's important to the team. If I don't get the job done with runners on base and I'm not driving them in, I'm not doing my job," said the 24-year-old Montreal native. "When there's runners on base, I've got to do my job. It's a plus for me and it's a plus for the team. You've got to fight with two strikes (on you)."

But Naccarata can also play small ball as well. His talents at the plate allow him to bunt, hit and run along with swing for the fences.

"It's always good to try and produce and get the team on the right track," said Naccarata. "We gotta get runs, do the little things, that's what we got to do."

Cyclones manager George Greer is certainly glad to have Naccarata, whose experience playing at Louisiana State University is conducive to success in a pressure packed situation such as Brooklyn.

The former Tiger batted .320 in his junior year with LSU, with six homers and 53 RBIs. His senior year, although solid, wasn't as good batting .281 with five homers and 35 RBIs.

"(Naccarata) is a veteran hitter," said Greer. "He played at a big time program, he's just experienced and savvy, knowhow and he doesn't get frustrated. He puts the good part of the bat on the ball all the time, or as much as you can."

Although Naccarata's bat does most of the talking for him, he's also adds versatility with his glove. Naccarata plays mainly at third base, but in a pinch, can and has played second and shortstop. He's made four errors at the hot corner in his brief tenure with the team so far.

Naccarata's contributions will be key, whether with the bat or the glove.


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