Higashioka Going All-Out

Even though 7th round pick Kyle Higashioka signed a bit late this summer, limiting his playing time in his first year, he still quickly impressed many with his ability to handle pitchers and swing the bat. But while his complete game is an immediate asset to the organization, it is approach that has caught the attention of many.

"I think it went really well," Kyle Higashioka said of his debut season. "I just went out there and worked my butt off every single day. I just made it point to work as hard as I can and just come out of there a lot better than I was when I started.

"I think it paid off even though in the end I had a couple of bad games. But for the most part I was hitting the ball hard and I had a good time out there."

He hit .261 in 18 games with the Gulf Coast League Yankees and did well defensively behind the plate, but it was his intense attitude and attacking approach to the game that caught the attention of the coaching staff.

"I went in there planning on going all out, balls to the wall," he admitted. "You have to be sort of economical when you're playing everyday. As a catcher we play every other day but every time I got a chance to play, I was giving 110 percent every time."

Realizing he entered an organization that has recently stockpiled an abundance of catching prospects, including the likes of Jesus Montero and Austin Romine at the lower levels, Higashioka knows what he has to do.

"I don't really worry about that as much because I can't really control what they do," he said. "All I have to do is make sure I'm at the top of my game and that nobody is out-working me.

"I don't know, they might be better than me, who knows. They've obviously proven themselves more than me than I have but I'm just going to make sure nobody out-works me and that I'm on top of my game."

Entering the farm system with a solid overall game with few holes, he's not resting on his laurels and he has already set his sights on improving his game further this Instructional League season.

"I want to try and refine my catch-and-throw," he listed as his top priority. "I just want to make sure I'm as quick and accurate as I can be.

"It's not going to happen overnight but I'm going to keep working towards that goal. I still want to keep refining my approach to hitting too, to become the best hitter I can be."

It could be said that getting better is a bit of an obsession for him and he already has plans for the offseason after a trip to Dominican Instructs next month.

"I think it's just building up a little more strength," he said of what he needs to do prior to next season. "Towards the end of the season I started getting tired, I noticed that.

"This offseason I'm really making it a point to get stronger and being able to go through a full season.

"Getting stronger and keeping up my arm strength - I think if I get a lot better with my strength and pop-time, I'll be in good shape for next season."

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"I think it went really well,\" Kyle Higashioka said of his debut season. \"I just went out there and worked my butt off every single day. I just made it point to work as hard as I can and just come out of there a lot better than I was when I started.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think it paid off even though in the end I had a couple of bad games. But for the most part I was hitting the ball hard and I had a good time out there.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe hit .261 in 18 games with the Gulf Coast League Yankees and did well defensively behind the plate, but it was his intense attitude and attacking approach to the game that caught the attention of the coaching staff.
\r\n
\r\n\"I went in there planning on going all out, balls to the wall,\" he admitted. \"You have to be sort of economical when you're playing everyday. As a catcher we play every other day but every time I got a chance to play, I was giving 110 percent every time.\"
\r\n
\r\nRealizing he entered an organization that has recently stockpiled an abundance of catching prospects, including the likes of Jesus Montero and Austin Romine at the lower levels, Higashioka knows what he has to do.
\r\n
\r\n\"I don't really worry about that as much because I can't really control what they do,\" he said. \"All I have to do is make sure I'm at the top of my game and that nobody is out-working me.
\r\n
\r\n\"I don't know, they might be better than me, who knows. They've obviously proven themselves more than me than I have but I'm just going to make sure nobody out-works me and that I'm on top of my game.\"
\r\n
\r\nEntering the farm system with a solid overall game with few holes, he's not resting on his laurels and he has already set his sights on improving his game further this Instructional League season.
\r\n
\r\n\"I want to try and refine my catch-and-throw,\" he listed as his top priority. \"I just want to make sure I'm as quick and accurate as I can be.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's not going to happen overnight but I'm going to keep working towards that goal. I still want to keep refining my approach to hitting too, to become the best hitter I can be.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt could be said that getting better is a bit of an obsession for him and he already has plans for the offseason after a trip to Dominican Instructs next month.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think it's just building up a little more strength,\" he said of what he needs to do prior to next season. \"Towards the end of the season I started getting tired, I noticed that.
\r\n
\r\n\"This offseason I'm really making it a point to get stronger and being able to go through a full season.
\r\n
\r\n\"Getting stronger and keeping up my arm strength - I think if I get a lot better with my strength and pop-time, I'll be in good shape for next season.\"
\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 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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