No Concerns With Gumbs

Gumbs has reached base safely in 5 of last 6 games

With all of the talent on the Charleston Riverdogs this season, second baseman, Angelo Gumbs, can be easily overlooked. Drafted in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft, Gumbs is looking to make a name for himself among a group of very talented teammates.

"There are a lot of great guys on the team this year," Gumbs said of the Riverdogs. "Playing with guys like these, we're all pushing each other and challenging each other to get better every day."

His .224 average so far this year is respectable, but easily masked by performances of other prospects, like Dante Bichette Jr., Mason Williams, or Tyler Austin, who also play with the Riverdogs. However, general consensus around the clubhouse suggests that Gumbs' natural batting abilities will not allow for him to remain in the shadows.

"He's got great bat speed and it's just a matter of time before he's going to get it," said Riverdogs manager, Carlos Mendoza. "He's working hard in the cages with [hitting coach] Greg Colbrunn, and he's been swinging the bat a lot better the last few games."

Assistant coach Brian Baisley agreed saying, "He's got great bat speed. It's lightning through the zone."

This slow start for the 19 year old out of Torrance, California has not concerned the Charleston coaching staff.

"Some guys are just slow starters, but he'll come around," Baisley said. "He's a young kid and he's going to have ups and downs. He's just got to stay even keeled. You can't get too high, you can't get too low."

"He's a guy that's going to hit, at the end of the year he's going to have his numbers," added Mendoza. "He's doing everything he can. He's working hard and that's all we can ask."

"I'm starting to figure things out slowly but surely, putting the ball in play a little bit more," Gumbs said of his slow start.

Gumbs may have found the momentum he needs to end his slump by hitting a grand slam against the West Virginia Power (4/19) late in the game to give the Riverdogs a 9-8 comeback victory.

"After struggling like that it gets a little rough, but that was definitely a confidence builder," Gumbs said of his grand slam. "It was pretty cool. It was the first of my life and I enjoyed it, running every base and seeing all the RBIs like that. I've had a lot of opportunities to do that in my life so I'm glad I finally got one."

The coaching staff also feels the grand slam will be a confidence builder for Gumbs.

"Whenever you hit a grand slam, especially when you're not swinging the bat the way you're supposed to, it will always help," said Mendoza. "Hitting a ball like that should give you some confidence," added Baisley.

Going forward, Gumbs and his coaches hope this may be the catalyst he needed to start putting up the numbers he is capable of achieving. He is staying positive and focused on his batting approach.

"I'm just working on staying back with my stride and working down through the ball," Gumbs said.

"I want him to just keep doing what he's doing," Mendoza said. "Like I told him, relax, play your game, things will fall in place and don't put too much pressure on yourself. That's the worst thing that you can do and he's handling it very well.

"He's the same guy, he shows up to the park ready to play. He wants to play and that's good. He's always got a smile on his face and that's what I tell him, just have some fun."

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