Laird Still Adjusting

Brandon Laird was coming off of an impressive 2010 campaign for the Yankees AA affiliate, Trenton Thunder, culminating in being named most valuable player of the Eastern League and put him squarely on the prospect map in the upper levels. As a marked man coming into 2011, Laird was certainly looked at as a legit candidate to make his major league debut at some point throughout the season.

When injured veterans like Alex Rodriguez and Eric Chavez weren't available, Laird got the call every baseball player dreams of, and he didn't let the experience slip by without learning from some of the best around the batting cage.

"Any time you get to be around Jeter, A-Rod, and those guys, it's going to make you a better player," Laird said.

Watching and learning from All Stars and future Hall of Famers is a valuable tool for a young player trying to cap off his development and become a mainstay at the major league level. Laird wasn't shy about taking in that knowledge and using it to his improve his all-around game.

"I constantly picked their brains, watched how they played and went about things," he added.

For a young player who can remember watching some of his Yankee teammates on television when he was a kid, it is a special aspect of being in such a proud and successful organization.

"To have guys you look up to your whole life, it was a prilivege to be around them."

He had a total of nine plate appearances during his time in the Bronx, netting one hit, one RBI and two walks in four games. That hit and RBI came in his first official at-bat in the majors.

While he was disappointed to be sent back down, he got feedback throughout the summer from the Yankees hierarchy to help his game improve, including a minor but important adjustment at the plate.

"What they always tell me," Laird said when asked about their message to him, "work hard and not be on my front foot as much."

That specific adjustment helped him have a great July, posting a .952 OPS in 19 games of a shortened month in Triple-A.

When you are in an organization like the Yankees, where production prevails over all else, struggling out of the gate can be a hindrance on one's numbers at the completion of a season. After a cold start to this season, where he hit just .182 in April, Laird picked it up to hit .307 in May, followed by a solid June.

After being in Florida for two months, the adjustment to baseball up north can be overlooked as to why some players struggle as the season begins.

"I didn't really get the at-bats I needed in Spring Training to get going, and then I had to adjust to the weather up here [in Scranton] in April, when its cold and rainy."

After that rough start to the season, Laird and the Yankees stare down the final week and a half of the season, he's hammered 15 home runs, which is good for fourth on the Scranton club [behind Vazquez, Montero and Maxwell) and among the top ten in the International League. He's also knocked in 64 RBI, and produced 116 hits, and 26 doubles in 119 games; numbers that would suggest he's had a fairly productive season.

With the Scranton team unlikely to make postseason play, and a disappoint slash line of .256, .286, .413 on the year, Laird wants to finish the season on a positive note.

"I've just got to play well and go out there and help the team," Laird concluded.

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\r\n \r\n\r\nWhen injured veterans like Alex Rodriguez and Eric Chavez weren't available, Laird got the call every baseball player dreams of, and he didn't let the experience slip by without learning from some of the best around the batting cage.
\r\n
\r\n\"Any time you get to be around Jeter, A-Rod, and those guys, it's going to make you a better player,\" Laird said.
\r\n
\r\nWatching and learning from All Stars and future Hall of Famers is a valuable tool for a young player trying to cap off his development and become a mainstay at the major league level. Laird wasn't shy about taking in that knowledge and using it to his improve his all-around game.
\r\n
\r\n\"I constantly picked their brains, watched how they played and went about things,\" he added.
\r\n
\r\nFor a young player who can remember watching some of his Yankee teammates on television when he was a kid, it is a special aspect of being in such a proud and successful organization.
\r\n
\r\n\"To have guys you look up to your whole life, it was a prilivege to be around them.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe had a total of nine plate appearances during his time in the Bronx, netting one hit, one RBI and two walks in four games. That hit and RBI came in his first official at-bat in the majors.
\r\n
\r\nWhile he was disappointed to be sent back down, he got feedback throughout the summer from the Yankees hierarchy to help his game improve, including a minor but important adjustment at the plate.
\r\n
\r\n\"What they always tell me,\" Laird said when asked about their message to him, \"work hard and not be on my front foot as much.\"
\r\n
\r\nThat specific adjustment helped him have a great July, posting a .952 OPS in 19 games of a shortened month in Triple-A.
\r\n
\r\nWhen you are in an organization like the Yankees, where production prevails over all else, struggling out of the gate can be a hindrance on one's numbers at the completion of a season. After a cold start to this season, where he hit just .182 in April, Laird picked it up to hit .307 in May, followed by a solid June.
\r\n
\r\nAfter being in Florida for two months, the adjustment to baseball up north can be overlooked as to why some players struggle as the season begins.
\r\n
\r\n\"I didn't really get the at-bats I needed in Spring Training to get going, and then I had to adjust to the weather up here [in Scranton] in April, when its cold and rainy.\"
\r\n
\r\nAfter that rough start to the season, Laird and the Yankees stare down the final week and a half of the season, he's hammered 15 home runs, which is good for fourth on the Scranton club [behind Vazquez, Montero and Maxwell) and among the top ten in the International League. He's also knocked in 64 RBI, and produced 116 hits, and 26 doubles in 119 games; numbers that would suggest he's had a fairly productive season.
\r\n
\r\nWith the Scranton team unlikely to make postseason play, and a disappoint slash line of .256, .286, .413 on the year, Laird wants to finish the season on a positive note.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've just got to play well and go out there and help the team,\" Laird concluded.
\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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