Kazmar rebounds from a slow start

After a slot start to the year, Sean Kazmar found his stroke with the help of hitting coach Tom Tornicasa and his efforts over the second half of the season earned him a trip to Hawaii – soon after the Lake Elsinore Storm wrap up the playoffs.

When you make an early error during the game, do you put any extra pressure on yourself to make amends?

Sean Kazmar: There is not really any pressure. I wish the next one was hit right back at me. That is just the way I am. I don't let errors bother me or take them up to bat with me. I forget the error and try and help out the team as best I can and try not to let errors bother me.

You began the season with some struggles at the plate but really turned it around down the stretch. Have you changed anything along the way?

Sean Kazmar: I wouldn't necessarily say I changed anything. Me and Tom Tornicasa made some adjustments, breaking my swing down on film. Pretty much when I look back at it it is hitting in the counts and getting a pitch I can drive. Early in the season I was falling behind in the count and it seems like in the second half I have been getting into a lot of hitters counts and driving baseballs into the gaps. That is my main thing – working counts and getting a good pitch to hit.

If I remember right, you used to have a high leg kick too.

Sean Kazmar: Exactly. We kind of slowed everything down and it helps me see the baseball a little more and my head is not moving as much. Like I said, just trying to work counts and get a good pitch to drive.

You are getting a chance this fall to go out to Hawaii and play in the Hawaiian Baseball League. That has to be an honor for you.

Sean Kazmar: That is definitely an honor. Anytime as a minor league baseball player that they ask you to go play winter ball they are thinking highly of you. It is going to be a great opportunity. Hopefully I can keep going up there the way I have in the second half.

How nice will it be to have Peter Ciofrone and Neil Jamison out there with you?

Sean Kazmar: It is going to be really nice. I have been rooming with Cio all year. I am used to the Italian, New York accent and everything. It is definitely going to be an honor to play with those two guys. They are both great players and their potential is up there. I am fortunate to be able to play with them out there.

Is there a part of you that wants a little rest – you have played the most games out of anyone on the Lake Elsinore squad.

Sean Kazmar: You could definitely use the rest but growing up in Vegas I got a chance to play baseball year round. I have been playing everyday since the age of four. It is wearing and tearing on me but the opportunity is in front of me and major league baseball players play 162 games. That is going to get me prepared for that to go out and play another 40 games and get that amount in a year – see what it actually feels like.

Do you view it as a stepping stone for you as you move forward into Double-A or wherever you land?

Sean Kazmar: I am not sure what is going to happen. That is up to the organization. All I can do is try and put together a good year and a good winter and try and keep their eyes open. When I was struggling in the first half I was kind of worried they might forget about me. You cant really think about that. Luckily, I turned it on and hopefully opened their eyes again and showed them I can play – I know I can play. We will go from there and see what happens.

Was that a big factor in the first half of the year – the mental part and worrying about all these things? You are not doing well so you put more pressure on yourself to do well and then you do worse.

Sean Kazmar: Yea, I think that is what I was doing more or less. Not really putting a lot of pressure on myself because I am not the type of player to put a lot of pressure on myself – going out there everyday is pressure enough and putting more on yourself will make it worse. I think I calmed down and didn't worry about the numbers as much and once I started doing that everything started going up.


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