Laird In High Gear For The Second Half

Charleston Riverdogs first baseman Brandon Laird was working through some adjustments for the first two and half months of the season. Filling in for the injured Bradley Suttle at third base for the month of May, Laird never really hit his stride before the South Atlantic League All-Star Break.

Suffice it to say, the young infielder was performing early in the season, hitting five home runs and seventeen RBIs. However, his batting average was all over the place, touching as low as .194 and as high as .333.

June brought about the lofty numbers, and since then Laird has already hit seven more home runs and twenty-one RBIs, surpassing his first half home run total and nearly matching his RBI tally.

"I felt like I came out pretty strong in the second half but its been a little up and down lately," said Laird. "I've been in the cage every day working on the same thing so I can get the consistency back up, but I'm feeling pretty confident right now."

Echoing Laird's sentiments, Riverdogs hitting coach Greg Colbrunn believes consistency is the key to the California native's success as well as an overall goal for many of the team's young players.

While minor league players may have up and down stretches throughout a season, it seems the remedy is locating a steadiness at the plate.

"I think he's made tremendous strides recently and the biggest thing we've been working on is being consistent; consistent in his stride and stringing quality at-bats together over the course of several days," said Colbrunn.

"I'm starting to know my swing a lot better at this point and we keep going over the same stuff to find that consistency and put quality at-bats together every day," said Laird.

"Brandon can hit. And we know he can hit," said Colbrunn about Laird's recent success. "What he did last year in the Gulf Coast League was an example of what we knew he could do. And this year he's seeing the ball even better and controlling his stride to become a better hitter."

With an accentuated leg kick, the Cypress College alum has intermittent plate mechanic issues when his aforementioned stride gets a bit out of whack, causing his weight to shift improperly and force his timing off. His lower body is his biggest worry when he reflects on what improvements he needs to make for the remainder of the season.

"I need to work on controlling my legs and my stride," he admitted. "I have that leg kick so my biggest concern is controlling my legs at the plate. I know the speed is there but it's at the plate where I can get into trouble."

Coach Colbrunn expands on Laird's plate discipline and insists that while he can get a little excited at the plate, the amount of progress he has made erases any concern over what the staff needs to do to coach him on a day to day basis.

"He'll go through spurts where he gets a little jumpy at the plate but for the most part he understands his swing, knows when he's going good and doesn' t need to adjust," said Colbrunn. "What's impressive is when he knows he's going bad he can adjust himself and get it going again."

In regards to his surge in power numbers in the last month or so, Laird knew it was one of those times he was locked in and hopes that he can maintain the success June and July have brought him.

"I wish I could say every day that's its going well but you go through those up and down times and you just have to get through them. I just hope I can rediscover and prolong that success," Laird concluded.

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\r\n\r\n\r\nSuffice it to say, the young infielder was performing early in the season,\r\nhitting five home runs and seventeen RBIs. However, his batting average was\r\nall over the place, touching as low as .194 and as high as .333.
\r\n
\r\nJune brought about the lofty numbers, and since then Laird has already hit\r\nseven more home runs and twenty-one RBIs, surpassing his first half home run\r\ntotal and nearly matching his RBI tally.
\r\n
\r\n\"I felt like I came out pretty strong in the second half but its been a\r\nlittle up and down lately,\" said Laird. \"I've been in the cage every day working\r\non the same thing so I can get the consistency back up, but I'm feeling\r\npretty confident right now.\"
\r\n
\r\nEchoing Laird's sentiments, Riverdogs hitting coach Greg Colbrunn believes\r\nconsistency is the key to the California native's success as well as an\r\noverall goal for many of the team's young players.
\r\n
\r\nWhile minor league players may have up and down stretches throughout a\r\nseason, it seems the remedy is locating a steadiness at the plate.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think he's made tremendous strides recently and the biggest thing we've\r\nbeen working on is being consistent; consistent in his stride and stringing\r\nquality at-bats together over the course of several days,\" said Colbrunn.
\r\n\r\n
\r\n\"I'm starting to know my swing a lot better at this point and we keep going\r\nover the same stuff to find that consistency and put quality at-bats\r\ntogether every day,\" said Laird.
\r\n
\r\n\"Brandon can hit. And we know he can hit,\" said Colbrunn about Laird's\r\nrecent success. \"What he did last year in the Gulf Coast League was an example of\r\nwhat we knew he could do. And this year he's seeing the ball even better and\r\ncontrolling his stride to become a better hitter.\"
\r\n
\r\nWith an accentuated leg kick, the Cypress College alum has intermittent\r\nplate mechanic issues when his aforementioned stride gets a bit out of whack,\r\ncausing his weight to shift improperly and force his timing off. His lower body\r\nis his biggest worry when he reflects on what improvements he needs to make\r\nfor the remainder of the season.
\r\n
\r\n\"I need to work on controlling my legs and my stride,\" he admitted. \"I have\r\nthat leg kick so my biggest concern is controlling my legs at the plate. I\r\nknow the speed is there but it's at the plate where I can get into trouble.\"\r\n
\r\n
\r\nCoach Colbrunn expands on Laird's plate discipline and insists that while he\r\ncan get a little excited at the plate, the amount of progress he has made\r\nerases any concern over what the staff needs to do to coach him on a day to day\r\n basis.
\r\n
\r\n\"He'll go through spurts where he gets a little jumpy at the plate but for\r\nthe most part he understands his swing, knows when he's going good and doesn'\r\nt need to adjust,\" said Colbrunn. \"What's impressive is when he knows he's\r\ngoing bad he can adjust himself and get it going again.\"
\r\n
\r\nIn regards to his surge in power numbers in the last month or so, Laird knew\r\nit was one of those times he was locked in and hopes that he can maintain\r\nthe success June and July have brought him.
\r\n
\r\n\"I wish I could say every day that's its going well but you go through\r\nthose up and down times and you just have to get through them. I just hope I can\r\nrediscover and prolong that success,\" Laird concluded.
\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\r\nPinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our\r\nPinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade\r\ntoday to get the most out of your subscription.

\r\n

\r\n

Become an annual subscriber \r\ntoday!

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