Arnie Beyeler: Before this year I was really the only manager he ever had. That was the big thing for Vince was to play a season. This was the first year he had a full season under his belt and he got close to 500 at bats. He has never done that before. We got him in Texas out of the draft and he finished the season with us and the next year he was halfway through to the point where they had talked about promoting him to Double-A and he got hurt. Then he didn't play until the halfway through last season and he finished strong and went up to Double-A. He went home and got a little bigger and a little stronger and I guess started in Triple-A and we brought him back.
He is a hitter. He gets out of bed hitting a baseball. He is a productive left-handed hitter and he just needs to play and continue to improve. He is a great National League guy with the ability to play first base and the outfield. He can play multiple spots in the outfield; he played centerfield for that Italian World Cup team with Piazza and those guys. He needs to continue to get reps because he has missed about a season and a half. He had a solid season.
From your perspective have you seen the confidence grow? Was that the issue?
Arnie Beyeler: Vince is a pretty confident player. I think he just needs to play. He was a bat coming out of college. Everyone gets on the power bandwagon with him, ‘He doesn't hit for power. He doesn't hit for power.' I heard in the first day of the AFL he hit a homer run. That was nice to see. The power is going to come. He is a young guy that needs to keep hitting. He will learn to pull the ball. He is a guy that uses the whole field to hit. The strength will come as he gets to the upper levels and the big leagues and gets better. We are talking about a guy that is a Double-A player and really only has 600 at bats under his belt and most came this year. He just needs to play. He did a great job defensively for us in the outfield; he really improved his outfield skills. He is another guy that you sit back and let him play and see where he ends up because he is surely a good hitter.
You got to see Colt Morton down the stretch. He had some struggles in Lake Elsinore but really picked up the pace in Mobile. Was there anything you worked on or maybe saw that you thought you could improve?
Arnie Beyeler: We as an organization did some things up at Double-A and he made the adjustments and took to the things we wanted him to do and really made some strides in using his ability, his long, lanky body, his strength and his leverage. He took to some things pretty good and is a real hard working kid. For me, I was really impressed with what he brought to the table. I hadn't seen him play much coming over here this year and his catching skills were phenomenal for us. He threw the ball well and he blocked well and he got better at the plate. He put the ball in play a lot more and he is a big, strong kid that can use the whole field to hit and drive the ball. We are hoping he continues and it keeps snowballing with the bat against better competition. The sky is the limit with this kid with his size and strength. Hopefully he can continue rolling from where he was in Double-A.
Juan Ciriaco had a tough year hitting wise. He seemed to put some heavy weight on his shoulders throughout the year and maybe swung at a few too many balls out of the zone.
Arnie Beyeler: The big thing with Ciriaco is just a strength thing. Being out in the Fall League will be good for him to just continue playing. He is a skinnier kid and he needs to get stronger. When he gets stronger the bat is going to come. He puts the ball in play. He fields the ball well, he runs, he bunts, he can play the game but he just needs to physically mature and get stronger. He worked real hard on shortening his swing up and using his legs to hit. He drove some balls but we knew coming in that he was going to probably struggle at the Double-A level. He is another younger kid that from a physical standpoint just needs to mature and get stronger and it will come. He made some improvements. His numbers weren't good but from our standpoint he had some quality at bats. He learned to get into the count, he bunts and plays the game and was really solid for us defensively and that is the reason he was there. With him and Cruz we were solid defensively.
Arnie Beyeler: Yes. That is the only reason. I am the extra coach and down here to keep an eye on them. I am kind of like a bench coach and help with the hitting stuff and do some defensive work.
You can't complain. Another brutal day in Hawaii. The baseball is really getting in the way of our sightseeing.
The hitters were a little bit behind the pitching and getting their timing back (early on).
Will had a solid year out in Fort Wayne. He is a good athlete and brings a lot of ability to the table.
I had never seen much of Sean and he has played second base and shortstop for us and has done a fine job. He puts the ball in play and can run.
Ciofrone we had up in Double-A and he is a guy that can swing the bat left-handed. He charges the ball – he played third base for us in Double-A and I didn't even know he was an outfielder. He played right field and made a couple of nice plays out there and cut off some balls.
Jamison has done a very nice job out here pitching. He is kind of the closer on our team. He has done real well and is working on some things too – a little movement on his fastball and being more aggressive to right-handers and trying to get the ball inside on them.
We had a pretty good group of guys out there.