Cave Trying Something Out

Charleston outfielder Jake Cave is coming off a very good first full season after essentially missing two seasons with a knee injury. He finished tied for third in the South Atlantic League in doubles with 37 and now he's down in Tampa trying something new out at Instructs.

He finished the year hitting .282 with six triples, two home runs, and 19 stolen bases, but the fact that he played the whole year injury free is clearly the bigger accomplishment.

"I feel like it went really well for me," he said. "I'm happy with how I did. I knew I was healthy and I wanted to stay healthy but my big thing that I really wanted to do was prove that I lost that year but it didn't really affect me much, that I could still go out and play, and that's what I did and I thought I did well."

A hard-nosed player who is arguably one of the biggest competitors around, while he is content with the season he just had, he still wants to continue to get better and further fine-tune his game.

Part of getting better is getting more consistent at the plate and shortening some of the inevitable slumps all players must endure, but another part of a young player's development is building on the successful areas of his game and making them even better too.

"I'm very happy with how the season went and I was excited to get back down here to Instructs," he said. "You get into a routine during the season of doing stuff everyday so when you're home for a couple of weeks not doing that -- I just wanted to get back down here and get to work on some stuff."

One major area of focus during Instructs for Cave will be trying to tap some of his excellent gap power and turn it into more home run production going forward.

"At Instructs we're just trying something a little different," he revealed. "I've always been a guy when I get up in my load I get up on my toe.

"Sometimes that can cause guys to lose balls that I want to pull and get a little top spin instead of backspin, and some of those doubles I had could have been home runs. So I'm just working on a small leg kick and kind of raising my foot up a little bit.

"I like to do a lot of watching of video of Joey Votto. He has a small leg kick and he's an unbelievable hitter and really that's what I'm working on offensively at Instructs.

"I'm not really worried about results at all. I just want to go out there, work on it, develop the muscle memory, try to put it to use and see if anything happens. I'm not really worried about results."

The whole idea behind trying this mini-leg kick is to allow Cave, a natural center to opposite field hitter, to learn to pull the ball more and potentially hit some more home runs. It's not as if he was displeased with his power production this past season though, he just wants to improve it going forward.

"I think I had 37 doubles this year and I batted leadoff the whole season pretty much, and there was a stretch there where I was leading off with a double multiple times. I'm 100 percent happy with that.

"The two home runs I did hit were opposite field home runs and one of them was off of a lefty. Everyone wants to hit home runs but when I look at it I'm happy.

"I had six or seven triples so with my doubles and triples, those will eventually turn into home runs and even if they don't, if you can hit a lot of doubles in the big leagues you'll stay around for a while. Plus I'm only 20 [years old] so I'm hoping I'll get stronger and they will come."

He had not yet incorporated his new leg kick in actual South Atlantic League games this past season but it's not like the concept is entirely new to him either, and he wants to utilize his time at Instructs, where the stats don't really count, to try something new.

"When I was in high school I always naturally lifted my leg and had a little leg kick," he said. "And sometimes when I'm messing around off of the tee or getting loose I'll subconsciously lift my leg.

"They saw that so they said 'hey, try it'. It doesn't feel bad and it doesn't feel uncomfortable so I'm trying it.

"You see a lot of good hitters do it so I'm just going to try it and see how it goes. The way I see it if I can hit it will work itself out so I'm open to trying new stuff," he concluded.

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nHe finished the year hitting .282 with six triples, two home runs, and 19 stolen bases, but the fact that he played the whole year injury free is clearly the bigger accomplishment.
\r\n
\r\n\"I feel like it went really well for me,\" he said. \"I'm happy with how I did. I knew I was healthy and I wanted to stay healthy but my big thing that I really wanted to do was prove that I lost that year but it didn't really affect me much, that I could still go out and play, and that's what I did and I thought I did well.\"
\r\n
\r\nA hard-nosed player who is arguably one of the biggest competitors around, while he is content with the season he just had, he still wants to continue to get better and further fine-tune his game.
\r\n
\r\nPart of getting better is getting more consistent at the plate and shortening some of the inevitable slumps all players must endure, but another part of a young player's development is building on the successful areas of his game and making them even better too.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm very happy with how the season went and I was excited to get back down here to Instructs,\" he said. \"You get into a routine during the season of doing stuff everyday so when you're home for a couple of weeks not doing that -- I just wanted to get back down here and get to work on some stuff.\"
\r\n
\r\nOne major area of focus during Instructs for Cave will be trying to tap some of his excellent gap power and turn it into more home run production going forward.
\r\n
\r\n\"At Instructs we're just trying something a little different,\" he revealed. \"I've always been a guy when I get up in my load I get up on my toe.
\r\n
\r\n\"Sometimes that can cause guys to lose balls that I want to pull and get a little top spin instead of backspin, and some of those doubles I had could have been home runs. So I'm just working on a small leg kick and kind of raising my foot up a little bit.
\r\n
\r\n\"I like to do a lot of watching of video of Joey Votto. He has a small leg kick and he's an unbelievable hitter and really that's what I'm working on offensively at Instructs.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm not really worried about results at all. I just want to go out there, work on it, develop the muscle memory, try to put it to use and see if anything happens. I'm not really worried about results.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe whole idea behind trying this mini-leg kick is to allow Cave, a natural center to opposite field hitter, to learn to pull the ball more and potentially hit some more home runs. It's not as if he was displeased with his power production this past season though, he just wants to improve it going forward.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think I had 37 doubles this year and I batted leadoff the whole season pretty much, and there was a stretch there where I was leading off with a double multiple times. I'm 100 percent happy with that.
\r\n
\r\n\"The two home runs I did hit were opposite field home runs and one of them was off of a lefty. Everyone wants to hit home runs but when I look at it I'm happy.
\r\n
\r\n\"I had six or seven triples so with my doubles and triples, those will eventually turn into home runs and even if they don't, if you can hit a lot of doubles in the big leagues you'll stay around for a while. Plus I'm only 20 [years old] so I'm hoping I'll get stronger and they will come.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe had not yet incorporated his new leg kick in actual South Atlantic League games this past season but it's not like the concept is entirely new to him either, and he wants to utilize his time at Instructs, where the stats don't really count, to try something new.
\r\n
\r\n\"When I was in high school I always naturally lifted my leg and had a little leg kick,\" he said. \"And sometimes when I'm messing around off of the tee or getting loose I'll subconsciously lift my leg.
\r\n
\r\n\"They saw that so they said 'hey, try it'. It doesn't feel bad and it doesn't feel uncomfortable so I'm trying it.
\r\n
\r\n\"You see a lot of good hitters do it so I'm just going to try it and see how it goes. The way I see it if I can hit it will work itself out so I'm open to trying new stuff,\" he 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

Become an annual subscriber today!

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