Wade Laid A Nice Foundation

Charleston shortstop Tyler Wade had a very solid season this year for the RiverDogs, hitting .272 and leading the team in hits [138], and finishing second on the team in walks [57], doubles [24], and stolen bases [22]. The 19-year old also proved to be extremely consistent too. Down at Instructs to further hone his skills, he believes he laid himself a nice foundation going forward.

"I think it went pretty well," Wade said of his season. "I skipped a level so I wasn't expecting too much but I feel like I performed pretty well. There's always room for improvement but overall it was a pretty good year."

Aside from the solid offensive numbers he posted, he is happiest about the defensive progress he made in the field.

"My footwork, just around the bag and coming through balls, and just reading hops more, that's where I improved," he remarked. "I worked with our infield coach Justin Tordi daily.

"Day in and day out we worked on the little things to perfect my game and make everything so much smoother. By the end of the year it was perfected and I'm very, very happy with where I came defensively."

He made eleven errors in the first half and eleven in the second half. And just like in the field, Wade proved to be a consistent player at the plate too despite his extreme youth. He hit .269 in the first half and .275 in the second.

"I was pretty consistent all year but our hitting coach 'Gonzo' [Edwar Gonzalez], we worked day in and day out just trying to keep my swing path the same every day and have the most quality at-bats I can to help the team win.

"Just getting on base -- I'm not the guy who is going to hit balls over the wall but I'm definitely the guy that will get your doubles and triples, get on base for the team and steal some bags, just getting on base any time I can and give the pitchers a chance to get a win."

Aiding his consistency was his ability to stay on the field all season long and showing some real stamina, especially for a teenager who was still in high school just a year ago. He credits that with his ability to put on nearly 20 pounds of good weight last offseason before Spring Training this year.

"Oh absolutely, it got me through the year," he insisted. "It was a long year and the ball was coming off of my bat better, the backspin, the ball was carrying more. Last year I was squaring up balls but they just weren't getting the carry. This year they were definitely carrying a lot more."

Showing no real glaring weakness to his game this season, the shortstop is currently down at the minor league complex in Tampa at Instructs to further tweak his game and work on improving his versatility too.

"Down here I'm working on -- I played a couple of games at second base this past year -- and they just want me to be more comfortable [there], working at second base on my double-play feeds, and just cleaning up some things with my swing. [I'm playing second base here] just a little bit, nothing too dramatic.

"Just swing path, getting more, the big word with me is just 'barreling up' balls. I know I have a tendency to drag with my barrel so I just want to clean that up and be more consistent with it [exploding through the zone]."

Content with his first full season this year, while Wade believes he could have done better and can do better down the road, he also can't help but believe he's laid himself a nice foundation going forward.

"I think so but there's always room for improvement. I think I could have done tremendously a lot better. I thought I had an okay year. I was satisfied with it but I definitely want to do better.

"My year was pretty decent. I just really want to clean up my swing path, put on some more weight, and see my power numbers improve for next year.

"I feel like it gave me a lot of confidence though just being younger and having a pretty good year. I have a pretty good foundation now and showed them what I can do," he concluded.


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