Almonte Shaking Off The Rust

TRENTON, NJ - Arriving to Double-A just a year ago, Zoilo Almonte has grown as a ball player both on and off the field. His hard work and dedication have landed him on the road to recovery after a hamstring injury, as well as a secure spot on the 40-man roster.

When the young hitter came to Trenton, not much was known about the Dominican Republic native. Standing tall at six foot and weighing in a little over 200 pounds, Almonte has worked himself into the spotlight and has gained recognition from the Yankee organization itself.

When a hamstring injury kept him from the field for over a month this season, Trenton quickly noticed the missing link in their lineup.

"You miss talented players," Thunder manager Tony Franklin said about Almonte's absence. "I think they are all talented and you miss talented players when they leave the lineup. [Zoilo] is a guy who has the ability to hit for power, steal bases, play great defense, and throw guys out so naturally, that you are going to miss that productivity within your lineup."

"I felt bad," Almonte said with the help of a translator. "I want to help the team and be able to contribute. But [getting injured] happens so you have to keep your head up."

During his time out at practice, Almonte seems to be making a quick recovering. Although pushing to get back out on the field for a game, he doesn't want to risk reinjuring himself and is using this experience to better himself for the future.

"Sometimes an injury can be a really negative thing and other times it can be a positive thing," Almonte said. "Sometimes it can really hurt you and it is hard to get back, and other times it allows you to step away from the game, refocus, and get stronger and dedicate yourself.

"I feel good right now. I'm healing up well because of the hard work I put in. I have to keep working hard because that's all the product of that work."

In the meantime, Zoilo is shaking off the rust and getting back into the groove he was thrown into a year ago with the Trenton Thunder.

"He's a little rusty," Franklin said. "There's no question about it. He's been a little rusty and it takes a little bit of time for guys to get in there and start to find their timing and become comfortable.

"He's missing his hits here and there and I think it is just a matter of time before he gets a good rhythm and starts to become more comfortable, and when you become comfortable you become confident; [that is when] you start putting those hits in those games. [Zoilo] is trying to find his rhythm to his game and I think it is not too far away.

"[He] looks good. He is an aggressive player in both spots, on both sides of the ball. He doesn't get cheated swinging and he's going to take his hacks and it's a good thing. It's better than going up there and being very passive. So his aggressiveness is the key to his ability to hit as well as defensively."

With the rest of the season still ahead, Almonte has plenty of time to recover and reclaim his position out in left field. With his skills landing him on the 40-man roster, his confidence is more than sure he will make it to Yankee Stadium hitting with the big guys. Until then, the Thunder can only hope for the best to come.

"It's about consistency and continuing progress," Almonte said. "It is great that I got [on the 40 man roster] and to some extent, that is a measure of how hard I have worked out there.

"If I continue that progress, I will move beyond the forty, go to New York, and succeed there. So I can't rest on [just making the roster]. I have to keep working at the same pace and be consistent."

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\r\n \r\n\r\nWhen the young hitter came to Trenton, not much was known about the Dominican Republic native. Standing tall at six foot and weighing in a little over 200 pounds, Almonte has worked himself into the spotlight and has gained recognition from the Yankee organization itself.
\r\n
\r\nWhen a hamstring injury kept him from the field for over a month this season, Trenton quickly noticed the missing link in their lineup.
\r\n
\r\n\"You miss talented players,\" Thunder manager Tony Franklin said about Almonte's absence. \"I think they are all talented and you miss talented players when they leave the lineup. [Zoilo] is a guy who has the ability to hit for power, steal bases, play great defense, and throw guys out so naturally, that you are going to miss that productivity within your lineup.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I felt bad,\" Almonte said with the help of a translator. \"I want to help the team and be able to contribute. But [getting injured] happens so you have to keep your head up.\"
\r\n
\r\nDuring his time out at practice, Almonte seems to be making a quick recovering. Although pushing to get back out on the field for a game, he doesn't want to risk reinjuring himself and is using this experience to better himself for the future.
\r\n
\r\n\"Sometimes an injury can be a really negative thing and other times it can be a positive thing,\" Almonte said. \"Sometimes it can really hurt you and it is hard to get back, and other times it allows you to step away from the game, refocus, and get stronger and dedicate yourself.
\r\n
\r\n\"I feel good right now. I'm healing up well because of the hard work I put in. I have to keep working hard because that's all the product of that work.\"
\r\n
\r\nIn the meantime, Zoilo is shaking off the rust and getting back into the groove he was thrown into a year ago with the Trenton Thunder.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's a little rusty,\" Franklin said. \"There's no question about it. He's been a little rusty and it takes a little bit of time for guys to get in there and start to find their timing and become comfortable.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's missing his hits here and there and I think it is just a matter of time before he gets a good rhythm and starts to become more comfortable, and when you become comfortable you become confident; [that is when] you start putting those hits in those games. [Zoilo] is trying to find his rhythm to his game and I think it is not too far away.
\r\n
\r\n\"[He] looks good. He is an aggressive player in both spots, on both sides of the ball. He doesn't get cheated swinging and he's going to take his hacks and it's a good thing. It's better than going up there and being very passive. So his aggressiveness is the key to his ability to hit as well as defensively.\"
\r\n
\r\nWith the rest of the season still ahead, Almonte has plenty of time to recover and reclaim his position out in left field. With his skills landing him on the 40-man roster, his confidence is more than sure he will make it to Yankee Stadium hitting with the big guys. Until then, the Thunder can only hope for the best to come.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's about consistency and continuing progress,\" Almonte said. \"It is great that I got [on the 40 man roster] and to some extent, that is a measure of how hard I have worked out there.
\r\n
\r\n\"If I continue that progress, I will move beyond the forty, go to New York, and succeed there. So I can't rest on [just making the roster]. I have to keep working at the same pace and be consistent.\"
\r\n
\r\n

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

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

\r\n

\r\n

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