Skipping No Problem For Cervelli

It would have been hard to script a better start for catcher Francisco Cervelli. The 2006 NY-Penn League All-Star is leading the Tampa Yankees in hitting (.361) through 32 games and has yet to commit an error behind the plate, even after skipping a minor league level.

The Yankees showed a lot of confidence in Francisco Cervelli as he skipped a level, advancing to Tampa this season after playing in Staten Island last year. He has certainly given them reason to be confident as he leads the Florida State League in batting after going 1-2 with his team-leading eighth double on Wednesday.

"It's a long season, but I am happy with the way am I playing right now," he said. "I have a pretty good average and have been making good throws to second. Maybe if I continue to improve I might move to Double-A in July."

Cervelli credits his offseason workout plan for his success so far this year.

"I worked really hard in the last offseason to get rid of my fat and just work on my body," he said. "I gained some muscle and a little power. I hope to do the same thing next offseason when I play Winter Ball in Venezuela."

One of the only things that has been missing from Cervelli's game this year is a lack of home run power. Although he has a .444 slugging percentage and leads the team with eight doubles, he has not hit a home run in 83 at-bats.

"I've been trying to use the whole field and hit a lot of doubles. I think the power and the home runs will come," he said. "I am working hard every day to become a complete player."

Lost in all the success Cervelli has had at the plate, has been his consistent defense behind the plate. Before coming to the United States, Cervelli played shortstop and third base, but he has made a smooth transition to the catcher position.

He is certainly one of the most athletic players on the team, making the move from middle infielder to catcher. But beyond athleticism and talent it has been Cervelli's work ethic that has translated into success for him this season.

In 2005, he hit just .190 in 58 at-bats for the GCL Yankees, but he had a breakout year with the bat in 2006, hitting .309 in 142 games and he is off to another good start this year.

"I've put in so much time and hard work every day, not only offensively but also defensively," he said. "It's all about staying focused and [being] ready every day."

As for the rest of the season, Cervelli said it will be a successful year if he can continue to hit above .300 and help the team win.

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nThe Yankees showed a lot of confidence in Francisco Cervelli as he skipped a level, advancing to Tampa this season after playing in Staten Island last year. He has certainly given them reason to be confident as he leads the Florida State League in batting after going 1-2 with his team-leading eighth double on Wednesday.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's a long season, but I am happy with the way am I playing right now,\" he said. \"I have a pretty good average and have been making good throws to second. Maybe if I continue to improve I might move to Double-A in July.\"
\r\n
\r\nCervelli credits his offseason workout plan for his success so far this year.
\r\n
\r\n\"I worked really hard in the last offseason to get rid of my fat and just work on my body,\" he said. \"I gained some muscle and a little power. I hope to do the same thing next offseason when I play Winter Ball in Venezuela.\"
\r\n
\r\nOne of the only things that has been missing from Cervelli's game this year is a lack of home run power. Although he has a .444 slugging percentage and leads the team with eight doubles, he has not hit a home run in 83 at-bats.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've been trying to use the whole field and hit a lot of doubles. I think the power and the home runs will come,\" he said. \"I am working hard every day to become a complete player.\"
\r\n
\r\nLost in all the success Cervelli has had at the plate, has been his consistent defense behind the plate. Before coming to the United States, Cervelli played shortstop and third base, but he has made a smooth transition to the catcher position.
\r\n
\r\nHe is certainly one of the most athletic players on the team, making the move from middle infielder to catcher. But beyond athleticism and talent it has been Cervelli's work ethic that has translated into success for him this season.
\r\n
\r\nIn 2005, he hit just .190 in 58 at-bats for the GCL Yankees, but he had a breakout year with the bat in 2006, hitting .309 in 142 games and he is off to another good start this year.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've put in so much time and hard work every day, not only offensively but also defensively,\" he said. \"It's all about staying focused and [being] ready every day.\"
\r\n
\r\nAs for the rest of the season, Cervelli said it will be a successful year if he can continue to hit above .300 and help the team win.
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

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