Following an impressive junior season at Kent State University in which he hit .297 with a .382 on-base percentage, Toadvine joins the Yankee organization with a reliable glove and a flair for running the bases.
"I'm a leadoff-type hitter who can get on base and steal – kind of a sparkplug for the team," the 21-year-old said. "At second base, I try to be as defensively sound as possible, to make all the routine plays and every once of a while make a spectacular one."
Manning the base paths is a definite bright spot in Toadvine's game. The Springfield, Ohio, native ranked second in Kent State's Mid-American Conference with 29 stolen bases and 58 runs in 57 games this season, having been caught stealing only three times. His smaller build at 5 feet 10 inches and 175 pounds makes him an even tougher out around the diamond.
"I'd compare myself to a Chone Figgins or Jerry Hairston, Jr.," he said. "I'm a smaller, scrappy guy that's kind of a utility player that can play infield or outfield. I'm comfortable playing any position."
Second base seemed natural for Toadvine because of his ability to cover a lot of ground up the middle of the infield and control the play with his quick hands and accurate arm.
"I think that at some of the lower levels I'll be staying at second base and as I move up and can see myself being more of a utility guy, playing center or left field," he said. "For right now, I feel like I'll stay at second base."
Staten Island Yankees manager Justin Pope praised Toadvine and what he brings to the team at the start of the season.
"He and [shortstop] John Murphy are going to be great up the middle, and that's how you build a baseball team," Pope said. "The more we play, the better they're going to gel together, and that's going to make us even better."
A contact hitter, Toadvine stands aggressively close to the plate, but now that he is playing at a higher level, he may need to adjust his hitting technique in order to get the bat on the ball more easily.
"I'm excited to work with the hitting coach and the other instructors here on my approach at the plate," he said. "After [my first game], a lot of the pitchers pounded me inside, so that's something I'm going to talk to our hitting instructors about and maybe move off the plate a little bit depending on what they have to say. That may be something I'll work on in the future."
Several days after signing with the Yankees, Toadvine traveled to the organization's facility in Tampa Bay, Florida, where he met some of his teammates and trained with team professionals.
"It was nice going down to Tampa for a mini-camp just to meet some of the guys that were going to be coming up to Staten Island," he said. "Getting a few extra days before we started the season was really big.
"I think this is a great place to start your career," he concluded.
Toadvine Ready To Develop
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