Higashioka Trying To Get Aggressive Again

CHARLESTON, SC – Catcher Kyle Higashioka, currently on the DL, hoped to prove that his hitting is on par for a promotion back to Tampa. He was sent down to play for the class low-A Charleston RiverDogs on June 23 and has been trying to work his way back.

Kyle Higashioka, a native of Huntington Beach, CA, was selected by the Yankees in the seventh round of the 2008 First-Year Player draft. The 21-year old was chosen right out of Edison High School and worked his way through the minor league system, making it to class high-A Tampa for the start of the 2011 season. However, he was demoted back to the South Atlantic League as he struggled with his hitting.

"I was off to a pretty slow start," Higashioka explained of being sent down to Charleston. "I was just starting to pick it up when I was sent down which is unfortunate, but it happens. Here in Charleston I've just been trying to keep with the same streak that I've been going on and I just hope to stay hitting well."

When Higashioka left Tampa he had reached a batting average of .238, but the last month in Charleston has seemed to promote progress as he currently has a .269 average, three home runs and seven RBI with the RiverDogs. He attributes his recent success to being more aggressive at the plate and also to working with Riverdogs's hitting coach Greg Colbrunn.

"He has a pretty good swing," praised Colbrunn of Higashioka's hitting. "He's just been taking advantage of some of the things we've been working on such as being aggressive and using the whole field, and he's got a pretty good idea of the strike zone."

"It was not so much my mechanics as much as constantly not being ready to hit," stated Higashioka of what was going wrong in Tampa. "Sometimes you only get one good pitch to hit in an at-bat and sometimes I would let that go. I've just been trying to make the best out of my chances."

In front of the plate is not the only place that Higashioka has been having success. He has been playing well defensively as the catcher for the RiverDogs.

"It's been kind of tough since I haven't caught for a lot of these guys," said Higashioka of catching in Charleston. "But I feel like I've made the best of the chances that I've had to catch. The pitchers have been throwing pretty well when I've caught so I've been pretty pleased with that."

Despite playing better overall in Charleston than in Tampa, Higashioka has been going through a minor dip as of late. His batting average over the last five games is .182 and he went 2-for-last 11. His slight decline could have been due to a shoulder injury which landed him on the seven day DL as of July 21.

Although his goals for the rest of the season are currently on pause, he and Colbrunn have their expectations. Colbrunn wanted to see him continue to do what he has been doing for the past month; being aggressive, staying more consistent, putting together quality at-bats one after the other and continue to make progress.

"I don't want to set numerical goals because sometimes those aren't attainable," declared Higashioka modestly. "I just want to continue to catch well. Then make sure that I get the best out of every at-bat, take it one at-bat at a time."

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\r\n \r\n\r\nKyle Higashioka, a native of Huntington Beach, CA, was selected by the Yankees in the seventh round of the 2008 First-Year Player draft. The 21-year old was chosen right out of Edison High School and worked his way through the minor league system, making it to class high-A Tampa for the start of the 2011 season. However, he was demoted back to the South Atlantic League as he struggled with his hitting.
\r\n
\r\n\"I was off to a pretty slow start,\" Higashioka explained of being sent down to Charleston. \"I was just starting to pick it up when I was sent down which is unfortunate, but it happens. Here in Charleston I've just been trying to keep with the same streak that I've been going on and I just hope to stay hitting well.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhen Higashioka left Tampa he had reached a batting average of .238, but the last month in Charleston has seemed to promote progress as he currently has a .269 average, three home runs and seven RBI with the RiverDogs. He attributes his recent success to being more aggressive at the plate and also to working with Riverdogs's hitting coach Greg Colbrunn.
\r\n
\r\n\"He has a pretty good swing,\" praised Colbrunn of Higashioka's hitting. \"He's just been taking advantage of some of the things we've been working on such as being aggressive and using the whole field, and he's got a pretty good idea of the strike zone.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"It was not so much my mechanics as much as constantly not being ready to hit,\" stated Higashioka of what was going wrong in Tampa. \"Sometimes you only get one good pitch to hit in an at-bat and sometimes I would let that go. I've just been trying to make the best out of my chances.\"
\r\n
\r\nIn front of the plate is not the only place that Higashioka has been having success. He has been playing well defensively as the catcher for the RiverDogs.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's been kind of tough since I haven't caught for a lot of these guys,\" said Higashioka of catching in Charleston. \"But I feel like I've made the best of the chances that I've had to catch. The pitchers have been throwing pretty well when I've caught so I've been pretty pleased with that.\"
\r\n
\r\nDespite playing better overall in Charleston than in Tampa, Higashioka has been going through a minor dip as of late. His batting average over the last five games is .182 and he went 2-for-last 11. His slight decline could have been due to a shoulder injury which landed him on the seven day DL as of July 21.
\r\n
\r\nAlthough his goals for the rest of the season are currently on pause, he and Colbrunn have their expectations. Colbrunn wanted to see him continue to do what he has been doing for the past month; being aggressive, staying more consistent, putting together quality at-bats one after the other and continue to make progress.
\r\n
\r\n\"I don't want to set numerical goals because sometimes those aren't attainable,\" declared Higashioka modestly. \"I just want to continue to catch well. Then make sure that I get the best out of every at-bat, take it one at-bat at a time.\"
\r\n
\r\n

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

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