"It's a process. I never really recovered from that slump," Austin Romine said. "But I'm working with Frank and I'm feeling a lot better at the plate. I'm not quite there yet."
Oh, the mystery of the slump. Every player faces them and learns how to
play through them and find the answer. The mechanics might have been
the problem, but Romine struggled to get his mind out of the way.
"I kind of lost confidence there in the middle of the year. Everyday
little things were going wrong," Romine said. "It was the mechanics. I was
getting down. I'm really trying to turn that around."
Romine started the season strong, hitting .354 in April, but his
average would drop in May and June. He saw a slight improvement in
July, but in August he's hit just .216. He
needs to get better on the base-paths. Getting more walks is another
key. If the numbers don't show all the strides he's making, the quality
of his efforts are getting notice.
"He's being more patient and looking for a better pitch to handle,"
said Thunder manager Tony Franklin. "He's accepting walks, taking his
base on balls is a good thing and that indicates to me you're seeing
the ball well."
The defensive aspect of his game is where Romine excels, but he's also
improved on a skill he entered the season focusing on.
"My game calling. A lot of my starting pitchers and bullpen guys are
going up. I think the relationship I built with them was really big,"
He believes his communication with pitchers contributed to his success
behind the dish, as well as the Thunder pitchers.
"We have a lot of pitchers who've done real well. It's a compliment. It
means I did my job," he said.
The Yankees have a lot of decisions to make about Romine's future, but
they are clearly investing in him. He'll be going to the Arizona Fall
League for a second consecutive year. The high competition of the AFL
is always a good test for any young player, but it's mainly an
excellent way for them to extend their season and development.
"It's just more at-bats, more innings, and better competition," Romine
said. "You're playing against some elite athletes."
An added bonus for some fun for Romine will be the opportunity to play
against his brother Andrew a shortstop in the Los Angeles Angels
Romine talked about the process and (cliché alert!) knowing is half the
battle. He's getting closer to what he hopes for himself, what he
believes he's capable of.
"He's starting to trust what he's doing," said Tony Franklin. "When
young players are struggling, it's sometimes because they're not
trusting what they're doing. He's making a resurgence."
Romine Working Through Slump
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