Wade Starting To Settle Down

TRRENTON, NJ - Trenton Thunder’s Tyler Wade’s transition from High-A Tampa to Double-A has been rocky at best. In 17 games with the Thunder, his batting average is at an abysmal .156, but a closer look at the 20-year-old shows that his numbers are not the end all, be all when it comes to how good of a player he can be.

Wade is not too overly concerned with his slump, especially considering the fact that he had a batting line of .280/.349/.353 in Tampa from earlier this year. He admits that he needs to relax more at the plate, one of the factors that might be contributing to his lower than expected numbers.

“It’s baseball and we all have to go through slumps,” Wade said. “In Tampa, obviously, I was doing pretty well before I got here. I’m just trying to do a little too much at times, but I’m starting to settle down. I just need to be able to get in good hitting counts and have good contact.”

The issue of Wade trying to do too much or do things too hard was a common thing brought up by Wade, manager Al Pedrique and hitting coach P.J. Piliterre when asked all separately. Pedrique believes that his inexperience is the reason why Wade may be trying to overcompensate.

“It’s natural for anybody that goes here,” Piliterre said. “They’re joining a new team, playing with some guys that they have never played with before and they want to impress and they want to perform, and show the organization that they have made their mark.

"I think that’s where his struggles is coming from and it’s a good place; he’s a kid that wants to succeed and works his butt off and he’s just trying too hard, which is natural.”

Piliterre’s expectations for the former 2013 fourth round are simply to have him get accustomed to this level of baseball before even thinking about a promotion. He doesn’t want to put too much pressure on him and simply wants him to enjoy the game.

“I think that just comes with experience,” Piliterre said. “He got promoted because he’s good enough to be here. We’re not looking to get you promoted to another level. We’re not looking for you to do more than you did then or change your game. Your game has brought you here and we just want to see you execute that game on a daily basis. We’re just trying to get him to relax and trust in his ability which is plenty good enough to succeed at this level.”

In his short time so far in Trenton, there were a lot of times where he would be overaggressive and swing ahead of time, something that coaches have noticed. Wade has noticed this too and the fact that quality of pitching is significantly higher than that of high-A.

“Everyone is really good here,” Wade said. “Every game you get your ace here while in Tampa you get only one ace every series. You just got to go out and compete every day.”

As a defender, Wade for the most part shows good instincts at shortstop and is able to play both second and shortstop. Although at this point, he may be slightly better as a second basemen than a shortstop, when looking at his defensive numbers from Tampa. He has adequate range and Wade says that he feels good about where he is on that side of the ball, but at this point he can still improve.

While the youngster may not have big power, according to coaches, he makes up for it with his plate discipline, but the big skill that he has is his speed. While not having many chances to steal bases in Double-A due to his not getting on base enough times, he stole 31 bases during his Tampa stint from earlier this year.

That may be impressive, but even as a base stealer, he still lacks experience and instincts, which is the reason he was caught stealing a total of 16 times this year. The club doesn’t appear concerned with this because, again, they believe that Wade will relax and once he does, he will start showing his true abilities.

He certainly has started to follow the advice given to him because he had his first multi-hit game on August 25 where he went 2-4, a positive sign for the prospect whom the coaches want to end the season hitting the ball well and making good contact. He followed that up with a home run in his first at-bat the next day and a double in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs to give him multi-hit games in each of his last two games.

Pedrique knew it was a matter of time before Wade got comfortable and started showing his above average contact. Like Piliterre, Pedrique is treating Wade’s time in Double-A as an opportunity to evaluate him and see how well he holds up at this level. The organization has a lot of faith in his talent, but he is still a work in progress, especially on the offensive side.

“He’s a 20-year-old kid trying to feel comfortable and getting his feet wet competing in Double-A,” Pedrique said. “We’re not concerned because we know he can hit. I think he’s trying too hard in order to show the organization that they made the right move by calling him up before the season was over and the main reason we called him up was to show him what Double-A is about.”

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