Estrada Turning Heads

Estrada has a 12-game hit streak going

STATEN ISLAND, NY - Thairo Estrada is one of the youngest players on the Staten Island Yankees. He proved to be an exceptional player a year ago in the Gulf Coast League and the shortstop has continued to turn heads in 2014.

According to Staten Island Yankee manager, Mario Garza, Estrada is a player with a lot of potential.

"He has the ability to be a special player," Garza said. "There's so many things he can do. He's an excellent base runner, he can hit, his fielding has the chance to be off the charts.

"He's a very talented player. I feel he did an excellent job of staying focused every day during Extended Spring Training and playing hard and really just gaining the experience that he needs."

The young player had to make many adjustments when he came to America last year. He was in a new country with a new language but the one thing that always remained constant in his life was baseball.

"It was a little different," Estrada said through the help of a translator. "At the beginning I needed to make some adjustments for my season. I made them and now I'm ready."

Garza worked closely with him during Extended Spring Training and is looking to take full advantage of Estrada's foot speed.

"One of the main things we've been working on, one of his main objectives, would be stealing bases," Garza said. "I thought he did a really nice job of learning some things to cue on with pitches, his stolen base jumps, his base running reads overall. He did a really nice job improving there and he's done a great job here so far."

So far so good. Estrada, who has above average speed, stole just seven bases in 50 games in the Gulf Coast League last year. He eclipsed that total just 16 games into his season this year, swiping his eighth bag of the year in Aberdeen on Wednesday.

According to Estrada he is working hard day in and day out to be the best he can be.

"I did a pretty good job in [Extended] Spring Training," Estrada said. "I tried to work hard on everything to be ready for the season. I am working on my defense and try to be low every time to get ground balls. I'm working on my hitting also. I'm trying to get a good pitch to hit and to be ready in the game for anything."

Moving forward for this season, Garza wants him to develop further at the plate.

"He just needs to mature as a hitter," Garza said. "As a person he's extremely mature for his age. But as a hitter he needs to learn to use the whole field and stay within himself and not get too big. He's got power. He just needs to work on his basic approach and learn to use the whole field."

One major adjustment Estrada has encountered is playing at night. He had never played under the lights before and found it difficult at first.

"The first game this season was complicated because it was the first time I played at night under the lights," Estrada admitted. "I never played under the lights but the more I play the more I'm getting used to it. Everything is going well now."

Hitless in his first five games with the Staten Island Yankees, Estrada has since strung together a 12-game hit streak after going 1-2 in Friday night's loss to Hudson Valley.

On the national scene Estrada flies under the radar. Inside the organization, however, he is considered a prospect with great potential, and he plans to continue to work hard.

"I'm working I'm working," he said. "I'm working hard to get the pitches I need so I can get some hits."

One month into the summer season, Estrada is doing well. He is working hard on and off the field and doing what needs to be done. Garza is proud of the young player and expects him to continue to excel.

"I think he's a tremendous talent and I really expect for him to improve and continue to just gain experience like he is now. I really think it's neat to have a kid that age that's performing the way he is and I expect him to continue," Garza concluded.

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