Suttle Starting To Pick It Up

Suttle has six hits in his last four games

Bradley Suttle just enjoys the game of baseball, plain and simple. The hot-corner third baseman, who hit a bit of a rough patch in the early part of the season, has the tools as well as the intangibles, to work through the preseason jitters and concoct a powerful season coming off a 2009 season that saw him sitting out due to surgery.

With the Trenton Thunder, the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, it will take a little bit of adjustment for Bradley Suttle to shake off the injury worries, and to move into the new confines of Waterfront Park, which he will now call home after his from Tampa Bay Yankees of the Florida State League.

Struggling in the first week of the season but picking it up as of late, Suttle is confident that he could reach that high ceiling that was predicted for him upon his entry to the Yankee system.

"Up to this night, I have kind of been struggling a little bit," Suttle said prior to his three-hit game against Richmond a couple of days ago. "I've been striking out too much but I feel like my approach has been good and my swing also feels good, so it has kind of been frustrating because I haven't gone as many hits as I would like."

After an injury in 2009 that ended his season prematurely, Suttle got right back to work this offseason. Spring training was a key contributing factor to the small turnaround the Thunder is seeing now in his production, as he continues to get back in peak baseball shape, both physically and mentally.

"Spring training was good," he said. "Obviously the experience in minicamp was a lot of fun and it opened my eyes to a lot of different things and got me some more experience so that was good. I was happy, I was really happy with my plate discipline. I didn't swing and miss a lot and also I didn't swing at a lot of balls."

Prior to April 18, Suttle had 41 at-bats. He has recorded 12 hits, including five doubles, one triple and six runs batted in, but has six hits in his last four games. It should only be a brief period of time before he is able to throw the throttle into high gear, releasing him of his somewhat sluggish beginnings here in Trenton, and puts up the numbers everyone knows he is capable of producing on a regular basis.

"My pitch selection is the biggest thing," he said. "Swinging at balls in the zone that are pitches I can hit and lying off pitches I can't are things that need to change."

Suttle knows his progress and numbers could be better, though.

"My progress has been good but I'm not happy with where I am at right now," he said. "I still think there is definitely some work I need to do."

The Thunder's manager, Tony Franklin, is not worried about Suttle's progress with the early season, and expects a turnaround from the rather modest numbers shortly.

"It's what we expected, he is a good player," Franklin said. "No matter what it says up on that scoreboard right now with their averages and things of that nature, that doesn't bother me. They are all good enough players that they will soon come around and I think we will be just fine."

Last season, Suttle finished with a .272 batting average, with 140 hits, 33 doubles, four triples and ten homeruns. Though the season is still very early, both the Thunder, and the fans who come to the stadium for the hard hitting baseball action, are excited to see Suttle be able to turn on that switch.

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