Dugas Keeps Grinding

Dugas has been promoted to Triple-A Scranton

TRENTON, NJ - Despite not being one of the toolsier players around, outfielder Taylor Dugas took quickly to the level of play at Double-A Trenton, hovering around a .300 average for most of the season before being promoted to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, and it's in large part due to his grinding style of play.

Dugas showed his ability to make contact at the plate while with Tampa in 2013. He batted .321 with 62 hits in just 55 games, something he credits to an adjustment to his batting stance.

"Last year when I was in Tampa, I made some adjustments to my swing," Dugas said. "I lowered my hand position a bit and tried to keep my swing shorter. Throughout the offseason, I continued to work on those things and heading into Spring Training this year, that was my continued focus."

With Dugas batting .300 once again [.301 to be exact], this time in Double-A, he said he is feeling good about where he is at midway through the season.

"Overall, my swing has been feeling pretty good all season. I'm just trying to stay consistent, which is a main goal of mine. Finding my routine has been important, and I've seen that help my swing," he said.

His coaches in Trenton, manager Tony Franklin and hitting coach Marcus Thames, say that Dugas' .300 average is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his game.

"That's the least thing I like about him," Franklin said. "What I do like about Taylor is that this young man has a wealth of knowledge about how to play the game. He never complains. He shows up every day, goes through his routine and is ready to play come seven o'clock. He just happens to hit .300 in between."

"Taylor is a real pro," Thames added. "He knows his game and is going to give you a great at-bat almost every time. He doesn't give away at-bats and grinds for hits. He does all the little things that show that he can really play."

Although he adjusted nicely from Tampa to Trenton, Dugas has noticed the improvement in the level of pitching talent in Double-A.

"The pitching is definitely better," Dugas noted. "These guys have much more effective strikeout pitches and much better command of the zone. A lot of these guys I've been facing, they could be up in the Major Leagues at some point for sure."

It takes a pro to recognize a pro. Franklin glowed about Dugas' ability to grind out an at-bat, comparing him to the legendary Pete Rose during Franklin's days with the Cincinnati Reds.

"Dugas can grind out an at-bat as well as anyone I've seen at this level. He can grind out an at-bat as well as Pete Rose, and that's the best compliment I can give him. I played with Pete, and Taylor Dugas reminds me of him in that sense," Franklin said.

Dugas has only hit a single home run this season, but has a slugging percentage above .420 with 10 doubles and five triples. Both Franklin and Thames noted his ability to drive the ball into the outfield gaps.

"Power isn't really his game," Franklin said. "Some of these guys have it, and others don't. He can certainly hit a home run, but he's just really good at line drives in the gaps for extra bases."

"When Taylor is on time at the plate, he's pretty good. He's not a huge power guy, but his slugging percentage is pretty high. He can hit plenty of doubles, so he knows what his strengths are," Thames said.

As he moves onto Scranton, Dugas knows he needs to keep refining his game so that he can continue to progress through the Yankees' system.

"I've got to work on my base running some," Dugas said. "I need to play a little better defense in the outfield. I need to continue to be consistent at the plate so that the guys in this organization have to keep an eye on me.

"It's a long season, we still have another half a season to go. I just need to continue to get better every day and keep grinding."

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