Danny Payne cranks it up down the stretch

Danny Payne struggled a bit out of the gate but continued to keep his plate discipline in line, trusting in his abilities. His efforts were rewarded in August when his stroke returned.

What was the comfort level like for you playing in Eugene and getting used to the league?

Danny Payne: It takes a little bit of time to get acclimated to playing everyday and the biggest thing is the wood bats. After getting to learn the ropes and the do's and don'ts – they have done a great job of easing players in. You couldn't ask for much more.

One thing you were known for coming in was your patience at the plate. Does that hurt you sometimes as you continue to buy into the philosophy and allow a good fastball go by from being too patient?

Danny Payne: Sometimes you get a little complacent. That can be tough. You have to keep that in mind, especially at this level where you can't afford to let too many good pitches go by because the guys are just that much better here. You are only going to see one per at bat so you have to jump on it. It is not too bad.

The streak was broken – you had an impressive run of games on base from college to the beginning of your pro career.

Danny Payne: It was, unfortunately. It will be something I will be proud of but streaks are made to be broken. It is something I told myself – knowing I am not going to be able to get a hit in every game, ‘why not get on base.' If you are on base good things can happen. I had a knack for doing it.

Greg Riddoch has been pretty aggressive on the basepaths. How did that play into your game and what were you been able to learn?

Danny Payne: He puts a lot of it in our hands. When you get to this level you obviously know how to play the game. The few things – watching video – but he has been wide open and tells us if we can get it – get it. I have been fortunate to get good jumps.

The video has helped out a lot. That is one thing that I have taken on, actually studying the game. In college you kind of go out and play. Here, you have to do a little more if you are going to be successful.

What have you been able to pick up on by using video?

Danny Payne: It is just tendencies. Little things that might not make a huge difference but anything that can help can go a long way. I am trying to find that little stuff and be as consistent as I can.

You mentioned the coaching staff earlier. What have they been able to teach you at your first stop of professional baseball?

Danny Payne: They just don't bombard you with things. They point things out here and there. They ease you into what you need to know, which is awesome, instead of the first day you show up they change everything about you. They are really strong on ‘we like you for a reason and we are not going to break you down and change you.' They make pointers and suggestions and take you aside to work on it. They do a great job of brining everyone into their philosophy.

You have skipped around the lineup a lot since coming aboard.

Danny Payne: I have jumped around. I guess the more places you can bat the better.

What is it like when you are batting second behind Luis Durango who seems to be on base all the time.

Danny Payne: He is fun to watch. I kind of have a feeling of what it is like. When I was in college I was the guy trying to get on base so it is nice having a guy on second to get RBIs. The kid can play the game and is fun to watch for sure.


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