De Oleo Looking To Build On Mini-Breakout

Catcher Eduardo De Oleo had always been considered a solid minor league back option in the short-season leagues earlier in his career but he came out of nowhere in 2014 to not only hit a career-high twelve home runs but actually lead the Charleston RiverDogs in that category this past season. He says he's looking to continue building on his mini-breakout season going forward.

It was a bittersweet season for Eduardo De Oleo. The Dominican native more than doubled his previous career home run total [he entered the season with just five career home runs in 327 at-bats] in 2014 but it came at a price as he hit just .214 on the season in Charleston.

"I thought I had a good season but I think I can also do a better job hitting," he said through the help of a translator, "swinging at better pitches and not chasing so much out of the zone."

Aside from the low average he also struck out a whopping 71 times in 271 at-bats. Still, it was rather surprising to most that the 5-foot-10 and conservatively listed 180-pound backstop clubbed as many home runs as he did this past season.

"Not to me really, no, because I worked really hard last offseason to do that," he said of the power surge.

The difference in power production was quite obvious. Defensively, however, he feels his game continued to improve too.

"Defensively I think I improved the most in my blocking and receiving," he opined. "As the season went on I got more confident with my English and working with the pitchers, and I think I got better [at both]. I wasn't afraid to tell the pitcher what to do in what situations."

While he acknowledges there is some more work to be done behind the plate, he is happy with where his defensive game is right now and he has proven to himself that he has the requisite power to be helpful in that capacity too. Still, there are adjustments he would like to make going forward.

"Hitting-wise I want to keep having a better eye at the plate, not chasing too many pitches, and improving my communication with my pitchers, those are my main areas that I want to improve," he listed. "I want to build on this past season and keep getting better."

He is the first one to admit that his entire game is not where it needs to be just yet to be considered one of the top catching prospects but he says he plans on building on his mini-breakout season this year.

"If given the opportunity I think I can build on this experience, work hard everyday, and get better. Working hard has never been a big problem for me though," he concluded.

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