"It was just a matter of time before he got going," Charleston manager Carlos Mendoza said. "A lot of people got concerned and I got questioned about him. But I didn't have any doubt in my mind that it was just a matter of time."
And Mendoza was right — it was only a matter of time. Gumbs is hitting .324, has stolen 14 bases, and has an OPS of .821 so far this month, even earning him the SAL Player of the Week award this past week.
"It's a big accomplishment for me,"Gumbs said. "I haven't done anything like that in past seasons so it feels good to get that award. I've been working hard for it."
"He had a very good week," Mendoza said about the Torrance, California native. "He's starting to feel more comfortable at the plate and swing at better pitches.
"He's staying with his approach and not trying to do too much. Good things happen when you stay with your approach and swing at good pitches. Hopefully he can carry on and keep going."
Gumbs and the coaches don't feel like much has changed with the righty's approach, he just needed to relaxed and play the game comfortably.
"Physically, nothing has changed," hitting coach Greg Colbrunn said. "He has looked good all year. He has been working hard to get good pitches to hit, he's staying balanced, and he's using the whole field."
"I've just been trying to be relaxed and just have fun," said the 6-foot, 175 lb. second baseman. "I was pressing early on the season — didn't help at all. I had a few people telling me to just relax and things started falling into place."
Yankee legend Reggie Jackson stopped by the River Dogs' facilities this past week and weighed in on Gumbs.
"I haven't seen Angelo play yet, but I like his body and I like the maturity I see from him," Jackson said. "I like the way he goes about his business — I like the fact that it's easy to see he's humble and appreciative."
The RiverDogs' coaches were never worried about Gumbs, and they are very proud of his recent surge.
"Even when he was struggling, he was the same guy," Mendoza said. "That's what impresses me so much about him — he handles the game very well. Even for a guy at such a young age in his first long season — it's not easy when you struggle right out of the gate — but he handled it very professionally and bounced back.
"He's working very hard in the cage and on the field to get better at every aspect of his game — and that's what I want from him."
Gumbs is happy with the way he is playing and is confident it will continue as long as he works hard.
"I feel like I'll have this momentum as long as I stay relaxed and keep practicing every day," Gumbs concluded.
Gumbs Building Momentum
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