Calderon Ready

There are two invariable truths when it comes to evaluating Yeicok Calderon's game - he has a ton of work to do on the defensive side of the ball and offensively he's as talented as they get. He acknowledges both facets of his game but in the end the Yankees' top player from the Dominican Summer League knows he's ready to play in the United States.

Yeicok Calderon hit a team-leading .339 with eight home runs for DSL Yankees1 this past season after hitting .321 with three home runs in his professional debut season back in 2009.

"I felt pretty good about my year," Calderon said humbly through the help of a translator. "Obviously it was my second year in the Dominican Summer League so I was more relaxed and knew what to expect. I worked hard and had a good year."

Some critics might wonder why a kid who hit well above .300 in his first season would need a second trip back to the lowest minor league level, but as Calderon pointed out, it's not always just about the numbers.

"I worked a lot on my outfield defense, getting better reads, and running the bases," he said. "I feel like I'm getting better in those areas.

"I feel like a more complete player. I think I'm doing things better. I'm basically [still] working on the same things – running the bases and my defense."

And there in lies the problem at the current time, a natural born hitter who is making more slow improvements than steady progress right now in the other aspects of his game.

What's scary, however, is that many believe Calderon has the potential to do even better with the bat as he moves up the minor league ladder.

"I feel a lot more confident hitting here in the States but at the same time I have to be more focused," Calderon said. "It's not the same as the Dominican Republic.

"In the DR they'll throw one strike and three balls. It's not consistent at all. Here everything is around the strike zone so in that way it's better for me because it's easier to hit.

"You look for one pitch, a breaking ball maybe, and it's going to be in the zone. Instead of up and down, you know it's going to be in the zone."

So while his defensive issues [to which he has many] remain a focus in his development, Calderon, who posted a .439 on-base percentage and .990 OPS in 2010, feels he is more than ready to have similar offensive success in the United States real soon.

"I'm ready," he said emphatically. "All I really need to do is get better defensively and running the bases. I was born to hit so I don't have any real worries there."

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\r\n \r\n\r\nYeicok Calderon hit a team-leading .339 with eight home runs for DSL Yankees1 this past season after hitting .321 with three home runs in his professional debut season back in 2009.
\r\n
\r\n\"I felt pretty good about my year,\" Calderon said humbly through the help of a translator. \"Obviously it was my second year in the Dominican Summer League so I was more relaxed and knew what to expect. I worked hard and had a good year.\"
\r\n
\r\nSome critics might wonder why a kid who hit well above .300 in his first season would need a second trip back to the lowest minor league level, but as Calderon pointed out, it's not always just about the numbers.
\r\n
\r\n\"I worked a lot on my outfield defense, getting better reads, and running the bases,\" he said. \"I feel like I'm getting better in those areas.
\r\n
\r\n\"I feel like a more complete player. I think I'm doing things better. I'm basically [still] working on the same things – running the bases and my defense.\"
\r\n
\r\nAnd there in lies the problem at the current time, a natural born hitter who is making more slow improvements than steady progress right now in the other aspects of his game.
\r\n
\r\nWhat's scary, however, is that many believe Calderon has the potential to do even better with the bat as he moves up the minor league ladder.
\r\n
\r\n\"I feel a lot more confident hitting here in the States but at the same time I have to be more focused,\" Calderon said. \"It's not the same as the Dominican Republic.
\r\n
\r\n\"In the DR they'll throw one strike and three balls. It's not consistent at all. Here everything is around the strike zone so in that way it's better for me because it's easier to hit.
\r\n
\r\n\"You look for one pitch, a breaking ball maybe, and it's going to be in the zone. Instead of up and down, you know it's going to be in the zone.\"
\r\n
\r\nSo while his defensive issues [to which he has many] remain a focus in his development, Calderon, who posted a .439 on-base percentage and .990 OPS in 2010, feels he is more than ready to have similar offensive success in the United States real soon.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm ready,\" he said emphatically. \"All I really need to do is get better defensively and running the bases. I was born to hit so I don't have any real worries there.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

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