Kontos Gaining Consistency

George Kontos is reaching higher levels of excellence in his current tour with the Tampa Yankees. Coming off an impressive first season of professional baseball with the Staten Island Yankees, he went 7-3 with a 2.64 ERA and had an even more dominant second-half. With such a productive display, skipping a level was understandably earned.

The blister problems that hindered him in his final year at Northwestern University, no longer seem to be an issue. They can wreak havoc with some pitchers and remain a consistent problem, but Kontos believes it will not have an affect on his season.

"It something that I'm not really too worried about anymore," George Kontos said. "I have it a lot more under control. I'm definitely doing a lot better now than I was doing back then."

Despite a record of 0-2, Kontos has been better than the record indicates. He has yet to give up more than three earned runs in any outing, and his 3.12 ERA indicates that.

He's been one of the Yankees most durable pitchers, logging more innings than anyone else on the team. To further show how good he's been, he leads the team in strikeouts with 22 in just 17 1-3 innings.

Consistency, as is the case with most pitchers, is one of the main reasons he's had such early success.

"I'm throwing more strikes, low in the zone, consistently with my fast ball, inside and out," he said. "My goal is to just keep improving my mechanics and get to where everything is consistent all the time."

The decrease in velocity may be a concern in some people's mind, but not Kontos'. He believes the speed will come back in time.

"It was a little bit lower than what I pitched at in college," he said. "I'm 89-92 right now. I've pitched ever since my freshman year of college, through this past summer. Maybe because of the break, it's taking it a little bit longer to get back up there. I'm not too worried about it. It will come."

For now, Kontos is spending his time working on his two primary offspeed pitches, his curveball and changeup.

"They were both pitches I was working on towards the end of last year, in (Instructional League) and in the offseason," he said. "I think they're coming along real well."

"I have the spin of the curve ball down really well, and the release point down, and I've be able to slow my changeup down and throw it more consistently for strikes."

The changeup is clearly the one of the improvements he would like to make during the 2007 campaign.

"I'd like to be able to throw that, in any count, for a strike, whenever I need to," he said. "I don't want to worry about, if it's going to be a ball, or if it's going to be hit. I'd like to get a little bit more confident in that pitch."

As it stands now, the plan seems to let Kontos showcase his ability. A good showing could possibly line him up for a promotion at Double-A at some point later in the year.

"I haven't been told anything," he said. "I'm sure it depends on how I perform. It would definitely be nice if I can keep performing and move on up to Double-A."

But for now, the Tampa Yankees are excited to what he can bring to the table for this season.

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\r\n \r\n\r\nThe blister problems that hindered him in his final year at Northwestern University, no longer seem to be an issue. They can wreak havoc with some pitchers and remain a consistent problem, but Kontos believes it will not have an affect on his season.
\r\n
\r\n\"It something that I'm not really too worried about anymore,\" George Kontos said. \"I have it a lot more under control. I'm definitely doing a lot better now than I was doing back then.\"
\r\n
\r\nDespite a record of 0-2, Kontos has been better than the record indicates. He has yet to give up more than three earned runs in any outing, and his 3.12 ERA indicates that.
\r\n
\r\nHe's been one of the Yankees most durable pitchers, logging more innings than anyone else on the team. To further show how good he's been, he leads the team in strikeouts with 22 in just 17 1-3 innings.
\r\n
\r\nConsistency, as is the case with most pitchers, is one of the main reasons he's had such early success.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm throwing more strikes, low in the zone, consistently with my fast ball, inside and out,\" he said. \"My goal is to just keep improving my mechanics and get to where everything is consistent all the time.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe decrease in velocity may be a concern in some people's mind, but not Kontos'. He believes the speed will come back in time.
\r\n
\r\n\"It was a little bit lower than what I pitched at in college,\" he said. \"I'm 89-92 right now. I've pitched ever since my freshman year of college, through this past summer. Maybe because of the break, it's taking it a little bit longer to get back up there. I'm not too worried about it. It will come.\"
\r\n
\r\nFor now, Kontos is spending his time working on his two primary offspeed pitches, his curveball and changeup.
\r\n
\r\n\"They were both pitches I was working on towards the end of last year, in (Instructional League) and in the offseason,\" he said. \"I think they're coming along real well.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I have the spin of the curve ball down really well, and the release point down, and I've be able to slow my changeup down and throw it more consistently for strikes.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe changeup is clearly the one of the improvements he would like to make during the 2007 campaign.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'd like to be able to throw that, in any count, for a strike, whenever I need to,\" he said. \"I don't want to worry about, if it's going to be a ball, or if it's going to be hit. I'd like to get a little bit more confident in that pitch.\"
\r\n
\r\nAs it stands now, the plan seems to let Kontos showcase his ability. A good showing could possibly line him up for a promotion at Double-A at some point later in the year.
\r\n
\r\n\"I haven't been told anything,\" he said. \"I'm sure it depends on how I perform. It would definitely be nice if I can keep performing and move on up to Double-A.\"
\r\n
\r\nBut for now, the Tampa Yankees are excited to what he can bring to the table for this season.
\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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