Fortenberry Proving To Be a Steal

Seth Fortenberry, the Yankees 11th Round pick in the 2006 draft, is proving himself to be a valuable asset to the Class A Charleston Riverdogs by leading the team in both runs and RBI's.

Despite leading the team in these categories, Fortenberry asserts that he still has room for improvement; and that he is still learning the ins and outs of playing full season professional ball as opposed to the college game.

"So far it's been good experience getting in the shape of going through a full regular season, its something I've never experienced before. It's somewhat similar to college, as far as both of them had marathon runs, except in college we weren't playing every day," said Fortenberry. "It's been an adjustment playing every day, but its getting easier."

Fortenberry contends that playing every day has definitely improved him as a player and he is glad that he has the opportunity to do so.

"The good thing is that you see pitching every day and learn something new every day," stated Fortenberry. "I compare it to running; you do it every day then you get more in shape and you get better."

While he is doing well behind the plate, Fortenberry knows that he can become an even better hitter and knows exactly what he needs to work on to improve his game even more.

"I've been seeing a lot of off speed away pitches and it's been getting to me lately," said Fortenberry. "I've been getting better recently and improving, I have gradually seen a change as the season has gone along and it's good to see the adjustments are working."

Another aspect of Fortenberry's game that both he and Riverdogs Manager Torre Tyson are working on is hitting the ball to opposite field more often and with power.

"Most of my hard hits and homeruns have been to my pull side, I am trying to get better driving the ball to opposite field. Actually, I had my first home run to left field all season a few weeks ago," stated Fortenberry.

In the previous weeks, Manager Torre Tyson has seen a drastic improvement in Fortenberry's ability to drive the ball to the opposite field.

"He's doing a good job trying to control the outer half of the plate as opposed to just pulling the ball," said Tyson. "In the last two or three weeks, he's done a really good job hitting up the middle and getting hits to left field. His strength will always be to right field, but he is learning how to take his base hits to left."

One of the most intriguing facts about Fortenberry's rise to a team leader is that he is still a young player who has only begun his development.  

"He's pretty raw even though he came out of college. Stealing bases are going to be a big asset to him once he gets better jumps and reads on the pitchers," stated Tyson. "He can play all of the outfield positions. He did a good job in left and right field and now we have him at center; he's made himself serviceable at every position."

Fortenberry is bound to improve even more throughout this season and next as he continues to see more pitches and play baseball on a more regular basis. That fact is scary to opposing pitchers who must face Fortenberry; who is in the top 12 in the SAL in runs, hits, and RBI's.

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