Zoilo Made Improvements

Zoilo Almonte, one of the Yankees' top international signings from 2005, hit just .219 with DSL Yankees1 a year ago. While he was happy with his home run total and ability to draw walks in 2006, the switch-hitter says he saw pitches a lot better in his second season after he hit .268 with the Gulf Coast League Yankees this year.

"Thank God, I feel better this year than I did last year," Zoilo Almonte said through the help of Manny Barreda translating. "I'm seeing the pitches a lot better this year. I'm also swinging at more strikes and hitting the ball more to the opposite field a lot better.

"Last year I didn't really recognize when a curveball was going to be in the dirt or I wouldn't recognize changeups that were going to be strikes. I've improved a lot on my pitch recognition."

Batting anywhere from second to sixth in the lineup this year, he ran a bit hot and cold at times during the season and he says being more comfortable from the left side of the plate is a big reason why.

"I'm more comfortable from the left side," he admitted. "I see the pitches a lot better from that side and therefore I bat with a lot more confidence from that side, although I have much more power from the right side."

A .295 hitter batting left-handed, he hit just .207 when facing lefties, although two of his three home runs came from that side. But while he and the Yankees are not too concerned with his offensive game right now, both parties believing his he just started scratching the surface of his potential, he thinks he made his biggest strides in the field itself.

"My defensive game in the outfield has gotten a lot better this year too," said the 18-year old. "I've gotten better running down fly balls behind me. I think I have improved on that a lot. My arm strength has improved a lot too."

While his overall numbers might not jump off the page, the fact he is still finished second on the team with eleven doubles, tied for second in RBI's with 24, and proved to be one of the best two-out hitters on the team.

"I didn't reach the goals I wanted to reach this year," he revealed. "I didn't want to get where I wanted to get, but I still feel I had a good season and I improved on everything I wanted to improve on.

"I wanted to hit a lot more than I hit this year. I really wanted to hit .300 this year and I think I can do much better than I did this year."

Believing he can be much more successful at the plate in future seasons, but still happy with his progress in that regard thus far, he says there are other areas he would like to improve on even more as he gets ready to break into the long-season leagues.

"I really want to improve on my base running before next season, just running in general, not necessarily stealing bases," he said of his goals for the offseason. "Sometimes I get confused on the bases and I've got to get better at that."

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\r\n \r\n\r\n\"Thank God, I feel better this year than I did last year,\" Zoilo Almonte said through the help of Manny Barreda translating. \"I'm seeing the pitches a lot better this year. I'm also swinging at more strikes and hitting the ball more to the opposite field a lot better.
\r\n
\r\n\"Last year I didn't really recognize when a curveball was going to be in the dirt or I wouldn't recognize changeups that were going to be strikes. I've improved a lot on my pitch recognition.\"
\r\n
\r\nBatting anywhere from second to sixth in the lineup this year, he ran a bit hot and cold at times during the season and he says being more comfortable from the left side of the plate is a big reason why.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm more comfortable from the left side,\" he admitted. \"I see the pitches a lot better from that side and therefore I bat with a lot more confidence from that side, although I have much more power from the right side.\"
\r\n
\r\nA .295 hitter batting left-handed, he hit just .207 when facing lefties, although two of his three home runs came from that side. But while he and the Yankees are not too concerned with his offensive game right now, both parties believing his he just started scratching the surface of his potential, he thinks he made his biggest strides in the field itself.
\r\n
\r\n\"My defensive game in the outfield has gotten a lot better this year too,\" said the 18-year old. \"I've gotten better running down fly balls behind me. I think I have improved on that a lot. My arm strength has improved a lot too.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile his overall numbers might not jump off the page, the fact he is still finished second on the team with eleven doubles, tied for second in RBI's with 24, and proved to be one of the best two-out hitters on the team.
\r\n
\r\n\"I didn't reach the goals I wanted to reach this year,\" he revealed. \"I didn't want to get where I wanted to get, but I still feel I had a good season and I improved on everything I wanted to improve on.
\r\n
\r\n\"I wanted to hit a lot more than I hit this year. I really wanted to hit .300 this year and I think I can do much better than I did this year.\"
\r\n
\r\nBelieving he can be much more successful at the plate in future seasons, but still happy with his progress in that regard thus far, he says there are other areas he would like to improve on even more as he gets ready to break into the long-season leagues.
\r\n
\r\n\"I really want to improve on my base running before next season, just running in general, not necessarily stealing bases,\" he said of his goals for the offseason. \"Sometimes I get confused on the bases and I've got to get better at that.\"
\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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