Almonte Doing The Right Things

For Zoilo Almonte, a quick look at his stats does not tell the entire story. He may have been leading his team in strikeouts, but his coaches have confidence in his hitting abilities. But perhaps even more importantly, the 20 year-old outfielder has confidence in his own abilities at the plate.

Zoilo Almonte, a native of the Dominican Republic, was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2005. In 2007 and 2008, he played with the GCL Yankees, and last season was spent with Staten Island. In New York, he batted for .274 and had a slugging percentage of .420, and was named a Mid-Season All-Star.

Speaking with the assistance of translator Carlos Mendoza, Almonte expressed the belief that he had a successful Spring Training. He is thankful that his hard work paid off and that his game has improved.

Despite the high number of strikeouts he has had at the plate thus far, Almonte believes in his bat and feels that hitting is his greatest strength. His goal for this season is to hit the .300 mark.

This season Almonte has been alternating between center and right field. While he feels that his defensive game has improved since the 2009 season, he is still looking to make some adjustments.

"I am working on getting a better route to the ball and communicating better in the outfield," he said.

Charleston RiverDog coaches share Almonte's confidence in his offensive abilities.

"Zoilo can hit. He's just getting his legs under him," manager Greg Colbrunn explained. "He needs to get in a consistent strong hitting position on a daily basis. He's got real good hands. It's a matter of taking advantage of that and putting him in a position where he can use them."

Colbrunn believes that consistency is the key to Almonte's improvement.

"He can swing a bat. For a young kid, he‘s got a real good idea what he's doing at the plate. He just needs to be more consistent on a daily basis.

Hitting Coach Justin Turner had not worked with Almonte before this season, but he is pleased with what he has seen.

"He is a hitter. He wants to hit. Like Jimmy [Paredes], he is patiently aggressive. He wants to get his pitch and if he doesn't get it, he is not afraid to lay off it."

Almonte, a switch-hitter, has had success batting off both sides. Describing him as a "pretty gifted hitter," Turner feels that at this point Almonte is stronger off of the left side.

"You see more right-handed pitchers. Right now, he is stronger left-handed, but he is a good right-handed hitter, too."

Turner is not worried about the number of strikeouts that Almonte has had so far this season.

"He is not a high strikeout player. It's one of those things that comes in bunches sometimes," he explained. "It's not a concern at this point because he is a guy that is going to hit. He has some hitter tendencies.

"He has got an idea as much as anyone we have got about what he is doing. It is not a concern."

Turner agrees with Colbrunn that Almonte needs to improve his consistency and would like to see him build on the things that he is now working on. Taking more swings in the cage and developing a better understanding of his swing will help him achieve that goal.

"He is a hard worker," Turner emphasized. "He is the first guy in the cage everyday. He is putting enough work in and it is eventually going to pay off for him.

"He is doing the right things," he added.

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nZoilo Almonte, a native of the Dominican Republic, was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2005. In 2007 and 2008, he played with the GCL Yankees, and last season was spent with Staten Island. In New York, he batted for .274 and had a slugging percentage of .420, and was named a Mid-Season All-Star.
\r\n
\r\nSpeaking with the assistance of translator Carlos Mendoza, Almonte expressed the belief that he had a successful Spring Training. He is thankful that his hard work paid off and that his game has improved.
\r\n
\r\nDespite the high number of strikeouts he has had at the plate thus far, Almonte believes in his bat and feels that hitting is his greatest strength. His goal for this season is to hit the .300 mark.
\r\n
\r\nThis season Almonte has been alternating between center and right field. While he feels that his defensive game has improved since the 2009 season, he is still looking to make some adjustments.
\r\n
\r\n\"I am working on getting a better route to the ball and communicating better in the outfield,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\nCharleston RiverDog coaches share Almonte's confidence in his offensive abilities.
\r\n
\r\n\"Zoilo can hit. He's just getting his legs under him,\" manager Greg Colbrunn explained. \"He needs to get in a consistent strong hitting position on a daily basis. He's got real good hands. It's a matter of taking advantage of that and putting him in a position where he can use them.\"
\r\n
\r\nColbrunn believes that consistency is the key to Almonte's improvement.
\r\n
\r\n\"He can swing a bat. For a young kid, he‘s got a real good idea what he's doing at the plate. He just needs to be more consistent on a daily basis.
\r\n
\r\nHitting Coach Justin Turner had not worked with Almonte before this season, but he is pleased with what he has seen.
\r\n
\r\n\"He is a hitter. He wants to hit. Like Jimmy [Paredes], he is patiently aggressive. He wants to get his pitch and if he doesn't get it, he is not afraid to lay off it.\"
\r\n
\r\nAlmonte, a switch-hitter, has had success batting off both sides. Describing him as a \"pretty gifted hitter,\" Turner feels that at this point Almonte is stronger off of the left side.
\r\n
\r\n\"You see more right-handed pitchers. Right now, he is stronger left-handed, but he is a good right-handed hitter, too.\"
\r\n
\r\nTurner is not worried about the number of strikeouts that Almonte has had so far this season.
\r\n
\r\n\"He is not a high strikeout player. It's one of those things that comes in bunches sometimes,\" he explained. \"It's not a concern at this point because he is a guy that is going to hit. He has some hitter tendencies.
\r\n
\r\n\"He has got an idea as much as anyone we have got about what he is doing. It is not a concern.\"
\r\n
\r\nTurner agrees with Colbrunn that Almonte needs to improve his consistency and would like to see him build on the things that he is now working on. Taking more swings in the cage and developing a better understanding of his swing will help him achieve that goal.
\r\n
\r\n\"He is a hard worker,\" Turner emphasized. \"He is the first guy in the cage everyday. He is putting enough work in and it is eventually going to pay off for him.
\r\n
\r\n\"He is doing the right things,\" he added.
\r\n
\r\n

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

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\r\n

\r\n

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