Katoh Adapting Quickly

TAMPA, FL – In round two of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player draft the New York Yankees selected second baseman Gosuke Katoh. The California native recently graduated from Rancho Bernardo High School and he's adapting to the pro game, and doing so in rather quick fashion.

"It was a pretty tough transition because I came out of high school," Katoh said. "The pace of the game was a lot quicker and I've never played every single day for nine innings, but I'm getting used to it now."

Playing the game every day is new to Katoh, but the short-season Gulf Coast League has virtually just begun and he's staying focused on keeping himself healthy. Katoh hopes to move up quickly in the Yankees farm system.

"Yeah, even if I don't succeed I know I made the right decision," he said of opting for the pros. "For now on it's just how soon can I get to the Yankee Stadium."

At this level many of the players are getting used to the speed of the game. While Katoh is pleased with his success thus far, he wants to continue to work hard and improve many aspects of his game.

"I want to improve in every single aspect of the game, but hitting-wise I want to be more consistent and hit the faster fastballs," Katoh revealed. "Defensively I just want to stay consistent also, try and keep away from making errors, and I feel the routine ground balls and make the plays."

He's been quite impressive in the early going, hitting .351 through his first 22 games with 13 extra-base hits already and as many walks [13] as strikeouts [13].

"I feel pretty good," he said. "I had a little set back, but I'm coming back. I'd say it's going good."

The pre-draft scouting reports knocked him for his lack of power and yet he has already amassed five triples and three home runs.

"I wasn't really coming out here to hit home runs, but I usually just try to hit the ball as hard as I can," Katoh said, "not really far, just hard contact everywhere, and some of them just happened to carry out of the park. It was pretty lucky I think. I wasn't trying to hit home runs when I came out here, it just happened naturally."

Katoh, who weighs 180 and is 6-foot-2, has had a fantastic start to the season. He comes out swinging well, has some speed, and can hit the ball with power when needed. The GCL Yankees' hitting coach, Drew Henson, thinks Katoh has great athletic ability.

"His athleticism both in the box and on the field has impressed me," Henson said. "He's had a really nice approach at the plate; he got really good hands, and he uses the whole field."

Henson is working with Katoh to keep his at-bats consistent, but for an 18 year old, his game is pretty well-rounded.

"Well with most everyone at this level it's their first taste of professional pitching," Henson said. "The velocity is going to be consistently there more so than it was in high school. It's really just working with these guys and trying to have consistent at bats each day. So far he's scored up some balls.

"His hand-eye coordination is really good and when the pitchers make mistakes he puts a good swing on them. He's got a lot of tools. He's got to continue to do what he's been doing, have quality at-bats, find ways to get on base, and have teamwork."

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\r\n \r\n\r\n\"It was a pretty tough transition because I came out of high school,\" Katoh said. \"The pace of the game was a lot quicker and I've never played every single day for nine innings, but I'm getting used to it now.\"
\r\n
\r\nPlaying the game every day is new to Katoh, but the short-season Gulf Coast League has virtually just begun and he's staying focused on keeping himself healthy. Katoh hopes to move up quickly in the Yankees farm system.
\r\n
\r\n\"Yeah, even if I don't succeed I know I made the right decision,\" he said of opting for the pros. \"For now on it's just how soon can I get to the Yankee Stadium.\"
\r\n
\r\nAt this level many of the players are getting used to the speed of the game. While Katoh is pleased with his success thus far, he wants to continue to work hard and improve many aspects of his game.
\r\n
\r\n\"I want to improve in every single aspect of the game, but hitting-wise I want to be more consistent and hit the faster fastballs,\" Katoh revealed. \"Defensively I just want to stay consistent also, try and keep away from making errors, and I feel the routine ground balls and make the plays.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe's been quite impressive in the early going, hitting .351 through his first 22 games with 13 extra-base hits already and as many walks [13] as strikeouts [13].
\r\n
\r\n\"I feel pretty good,\" he said. \"I had a little set back, but I'm coming back. I'd say it's going good.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe pre-draft scouting reports knocked him for his lack of power and yet he has already amassed five triples and three home runs.
\r\n
\r\n\"I wasn't really coming out here to hit home runs, but I usually just try to hit the ball as hard as I can,\" Katoh said, \"not really far, just hard contact everywhere, and some of them just happened to carry out of the park. It was pretty lucky I think. I wasn't trying to hit home runs when I came out here, it just happened naturally.\"
\r\n
\r\nKatoh, who weighs 180 and is 6-foot-2, has had a fantastic start to the season. He comes out swinging well, has some speed, and can hit the ball with power when needed. The GCL Yankees' hitting coach, Drew Henson, thinks Katoh has great athletic ability.
\r\n
\r\n\"His athleticism both in the box and on the field has impressed me,\" Henson said. \"He's had a really nice approach at the plate; he got really good hands, and he uses the whole field.\"
\r\n
\r\nHenson is working with Katoh to keep his at-bats consistent, but for an 18 year old, his game is pretty well-rounded.
\r\n
\r\n\"Well with most everyone at this level it's their first taste of professional pitching,\" Henson said. \"The velocity is going to be consistently there more so than it was in high school. It's really just working with these guys and trying to have consistent at bats each day. So far he's scored up some balls.
\r\n
\r\n\"His hand-eye coordination is really good and when the pitchers make mistakes he puts a good swing on them. He's got a lot of tools. He's got to continue to do what he's been doing, have quality at-bats, find ways to get on base, and have teamwork.\"
\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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