Lezcano on Lake Elsinore Storm prospects

Lake Elsinore Storm manager Carlos Lezcano again saw many of the brightest bats in the system in 2010. We spoke to him about many of those hitters.

Vince Belnome led the league in walks and showed some pop as well. How did he improve through the year?

Carlos Lezcano: He's got a very good eye. He's got a nice swing. He did a decent job at third. He improved in it but needs to keep working on his defense – especially his footwork and his vertical position. He has a quick reaction at third base. He was a second baseman before so he improved there also. He showed some power to the opposite field and he needs to work on pulling the ball, but he has a good eye, lots of walks.

Drew Cumberland was the best hitter in the system when he went up to San Antonio. What did you see during his time with you?

Carlos Lezcano: This kid led off at least three games with home runs. He has a quick bat, nice line drive stroke, he can really run and start an offense. He can steal a base. He's a really good offensive player. Defensively he can catch the ball. He needs to be more consistent at short stop and with his arm motion and mechanics, but he's a very good prospect. He's the kind of player we're looking for at Petco Park who can get on base, steal a base, put pressure on defense. He's a very good hitter and has a very quick bat. I was very impressed.

Cody Decker notched 65 extra-base hits after being the MVP of the Arizona Rookie League the year before. Can he continue to have success as he moves up to Double-A and beyond?

Carlos Lezcano: He's adequate at first. He won't hurt you there. He's a gamer but the best thing about him is he loves to play the game. He reminds me of, you might be too young to remember this, but Sal Bando (who played 16 years in the majors from 1966-81). His body type and his swing. He's a very durable guy. He hit some home runs and some RBIs. He has an upper cut swing and needs to make adjustments as he goes up. That will determine how far up he goes.

Jaff Decker found his groove before breaking his hand. What changed for him that allowed him to see success?

Carlos Lezcano: He wasn't trying to pull the ball as much. He missed spring training. His timing was off a little when he got to us. He was starting to do too much too early, but once he found his swing and closed his stance a bit, used the field more, more toward the end – the last three weeks. He did pretty well last year. He has a very good arm for a left fielder. He's a hitter. It's key for him to go to spring training and play a full year on the field. He needs to get healthy and in shape because he has a good bat.

Allan Dykstra seemed to be more aggressive this year from previous seasons. I know this is your first year with him but what things did you notice hitting wise?

Carlos Lezcano: He got some big hits for us. He started slow. At times he was really hot and I could see the potential there of hitting for power. The kid has a good eye. He can see the bad pitches. If he could figure out how to swing and get some quickness with his hands, he can do some damage. That's the only thing that sets him back. He needs to find his quickness and movement with his swing. You never know because the kid knows the strike zone and if he can figure things out he can hit some balls way out. It's a matter of him figuring things out and getting some speed out of his swing.

Dan Robertson is a guy who seems to do it all. One thing that has always struck me about him is his infectious attitude. Does that kind of winning attitude rub off on his teammates?

Carlos Lezcano: Absolutely, he hates to lose and it does rub off. He's the type of player who needs to be that way all the time. Every game of his life he plays all out. He's a mature hitter and has a simple swing that is not complex.

He worked on second base in the Instructional League. You put him out there and see what happens. He's a baseball player. He's a favorite of a lot of other opposing managers. He'd steal a base for you, puts up a good at bat, plays at center, plays at left, and he's a a good player. He just needs to, when he's struggling, keep that same attitude no matter if he's 0-for-20 or 15-for-20. He has the perfect body for a second baseman.

Blake Tekotte has a lot of tools to work with. What does he need to continue to get better?

Carlos Lezcano: He hits the ball pretty good. He puts the ball in play. He needs to keep working at his defense, his routes, get his arm a little stronger in the outfield, he's a really good bunter and base stealer. He needs to just keep doing what he's doing and get his arm stronger. The inside fastball needs to be more consistent. He took too many fastballs that were strikes and let them go. He needs to learn to pull the trigger on the inside fastball.

What was the difference between the Cole Figueroa (now with Tampa Bay) you saw this year and the Cole Figueroa you saw in 2009?

Carlos Lezcano: He's different. He had a knee operation a few years ago but he started slow and couldn't catch the fastball. He knows how to run the base and can steal a base for you. He's like the captain of the infield. He knows how to play the game very well, and he can play short and second.

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