Weems Working On His Timing

Unlike his 2007 draft counterparts, Yankees' sixth round pick Chase Weems wasn't able to find his way into a regular season game this past season. Throw in the fact he battled an illness prior to reporting to the Yankees' minor league complex, the left-handed hitting catcher has been looking to get his timing back.

"It went great," Chase Weems said of Instructs. "I learned a lot working with a bunch of coaches. I learned a lot to do with hitting and catching. I was working to get softer hands and be smoother behind the plate, and just have a smooth swing.

"I didn't know what to expect coming in. I had a blast down there. It wasn't that bad, just going out there and doing what I love."

Entering the Yankees' farm system with the reputation as a top-notch defensive backstop, Weems admits that there is one area where he feels he needs to improve in the field.

"I think it was receiving the ball," he said of where he has improved the most defensively since signing. "Coming in I had hard hands. We worked everyday on getting softer hands behind the plate."

Adept at blocking balls in the dirt and throwing out runners, while he has improved his receiving skills in a short period of time, he quickly realized his long layoff from the end of his high school season to the Instructional League had one major downfall.

"Coming in I wanted to improve more on catching but after Instructs - I didn't do too well hitting. I think my timing is off a little bit. The jump from high school to now is a pretty big jump so I'm going to have to get used to the pitching and get my timing back, just being rusty and not seeing live pitching for a while."

Battling an illness after being drafted by the Yankees left him weaker than normal and put him behind schedule in his transition to the professional game, adding to his struggles at the plate during Instructs and causing him to now concentrate on getting stronger.

"That's one of my main objectives because before I went down to rookie ball I got sick and lost about 25 pounds. Showing up down there, it opened up my eyes to show me that I've got to put that weight back on, maybe even a few more extra pounds.

"I had mono for a week and a half and then I had a stomach ulcer so I couldn't eat much. [Right now] I'm about four pounds away from where I was before I had mono. I'm going to try and put on about 10-15 more pounds before Spring Training."

Unhappy with his offensive performance at Instructs and lacking the needed experience since signing, the Yankees are sending Weems to Dominican Instructs to get some more at-bats to see if he can regain his timing at the plate.

"I'm pretty excited, I haven't been there [the Dominican Republic]," he revealed. "That's a whole [different] taste of the game.

"The time down there is definitely going to help me, seeing more and more live pitching, that's the only thing I can do - see more live pitching. It's the only way you can get your timing back."

Satisfied with his defensive game, Weems has but one goal for the offseason in preparation for his first Spring Training next March.

"Right now it's got to be my hitting," he said emphatically. "I feel pretty good with what I learned at Instructs with catching and now I've just got to put the weight back on and start hitting the ball."

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\r\n \r\n\r\n\"It went great,\" Chase Weems said of Instructs. \"I learned a lot working with a bunch of coaches. I learned a lot to do with hitting and catching. I was working to get softer hands and be smoother behind the plate, and just have a smooth swing.
\r\n
\r\n\"I didn't know what to expect coming in. I had a blast down there. It wasn't that bad, just going out there and doing what I love.\"
\r\n
\r\nEntering the Yankees' farm system with the reputation as a top-notch defensive backstop, Weems admits that there is one area where he feels he needs to improve in the field.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think it was receiving the ball,\" he said of where he has improved the most defensively since signing. \"Coming in I had hard hands. We worked everyday on getting softer hands behind the plate.\"
\r\n
\r\nAdept at blocking balls in the dirt and throwing out runners, while he has improved his receiving skills in a short period of time, he quickly realized his long layoff from the end of his high school season to the Instructional League had one major downfall.
\r\n
\r\n\"Coming in I wanted to improve more on catching but after Instructs - I didn't do too well hitting. I think my timing is off a little bit. The jump from high school to now is a pretty big jump so I'm going to have to get used to the pitching and get my timing back, just being rusty and not seeing live pitching for a while.\"
\r\n
\r\nBattling an illness after being drafted by the Yankees left him weaker than normal and put him behind schedule in his transition to the professional game, adding to his struggles at the plate during Instructs and causing him to now concentrate on getting stronger.
\r\n
\r\n\"That's one of my main objectives because before I went down to rookie ball I got sick and lost about 25 pounds. Showing up down there, it opened up my eyes to show me that I've got to put that weight back on, maybe even a few more extra pounds.
\r\n
\r\n\"I had mono for a week and a half and then I had a stomach ulcer so I couldn't eat much. [Right now] I'm about four pounds away from where I was before I had mono. I'm going to try and put on about 10-15 more pounds before Spring Training.\"
\r\n
\r\nUnhappy with his offensive performance at Instructs and lacking the needed experience since signing, the Yankees are sending Weems to Dominican Instructs to get some more at-bats to see if he can regain his timing at the plate.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm pretty excited, I haven't been there [the Dominican Republic],\" he revealed. \"That's a whole [different] taste of the game.
\r\n
\r\n\"The time down there is definitely going to help me, seeing more and more live pitching, that's the only thing I can do - see more live pitching. It's the only way you can get your timing back.\"
\r\n
\r\nSatisfied with his defensive game, Weems has but one goal for the offseason in preparation for his first Spring Training next March.
\r\n
\r\n\"Right now it's got to be my hitting,\" he said emphatically. \"I feel pretty good with what I learned at Instructs with catching and now I've just got to put the weight back on and start hitting the ball.\"
\r\n
\r\n

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

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine, including our special Yankees Prospects Guide, included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

\r\n

\r\n

Become an annual subscriber today!

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