In 2010 and 2011, Overbeck hit 24 home runs in each season, playing at Clearwater, Reading and Lehigh Valley. Last season, his home run output dipped to 14 in his first full season at Triple-A, but is shooting back up thanks to his 11 home runs in 54 games already this season.
Lately, Overbeck has been hitting the ball well, hitting safely in six of the last nine games, batting .355 (11-for-31) with two home runs, nine RBI and five doubles. Overbeck credits a somewhat unusual source - a pitcher - for helping his approach at the plate.
"I've been talking to Zach Miner a lot about what pitchers are going to try to do to you and just trying to get on that side of the thinking," explained Overbeck. "I think it helps, so I'll just keep talking to him and see how it goes."
Overbeck believes Miner, who has pitched in 157 major league games with Detroit in addition to spending all or part of 11 seasons in the minors, is a good go-to-guy for advice on what pitchers try to do against hitters. "He's been around a while and he kind of knows what the pitcher is going to try to do to you, especially in certain situations," said Overbeck.
Even though Overbeck is putting up big numbers this season and has played well in his climb through the Phillies minor league system, he doesn't get the same respect as other players. When you consider that since 2010, Overbeck is second to only Ryan Howard in home runs by anyone in the Phillies organization. Howard has hit 85 home runs, while Overbeck has hit 73 and Darin Ruf 72. The soft-spoken Overbeck just takes it all in stride.
"Those guys have done it in the past and deserve to be where they're at and talked about like that, so hopefully, I can get hot and have a year like Ruf had last year."
While being primarily a first baseman, Overbeck is also serving as the IronPigs' DH in many games, giving Ruf a chance to stay sharp at playing first base. While some players don't like being a DH or being used in different roles, Overbeck is embracing the situation, although it can be a little tough at times.
"It can be [difficult], but I think by now, I'm used to it," said Overbeck. "I DH'd a lot last year and I enjoy doing it; having different roles every day."
The fact that Overbeck does serve as a DH isn't a reflection on his defensive skills. He was originally a third baseman, but defensively was nowhere near where he needed to be to stay at the hot corner. He also played nine games in left field for Reading in 2011, but has settled in as a first baseman with a .996 career fielding percentage.
Overall, the 27-year old Overbeck is pleased with his progress both in his career and on the season, but he knows that there is still work for him to do.
"You always want to get better, but I think I'm doing okay, so far."
Cody Overbeck's career stats