Ehlers And His Game Are Even-Keeled

Ehlers is hitting .300-18-103 so far this season

Quiet and unassuming, Tampa first baseman Cody Ehlers has an even-keeled approach to his game and while the results have been tremendous this season, he remains steady as a rock. Neither getting too high with his accomplishments or too low on his very few slumps, he has been striving to be the model of consistency in every facet of the game.

"Basically in a nutshell, I just came into this season wanting to stay consistent," Cody Ehlers reflected on his 2006 season. "Last year I was consistent for the most part but I had some ups and downs. I had an 0-40 here [in Tampa last season] and I had 0-fer's for stretches in Charleston and then get hot. So this year I just tried to stay even-keeled the whole year."

"And I don't think I've had more than 0-for a couple of games this year," he continued. "That was a big thing, staying consistent, and all the good numbers come with that. I've been lucky to have teammates that have been on [base] consistently for me and I've just gotten big hits when I needed them."

Ehlers, correct in his assessment, has not gone longer than two consecutive games without a hit this season. In fact, over the course of the entire year, he has had just four two-game hitless streaks with the Tampa Yankees.

Taking consistency to a new and almost superstitious level, he has been incorporating the same routines in his daily workouts, pre-game rituals, and approach at the plate.

"Just consistent with whatever's working," Ehlers simplified. "Whether it'd be your approach at the plate everyday or your preparations before the game. In batting practice, I've pretty much done the same things everyday."

"I've kept the right frame of mind, even when you're struggling a little bit or you don't feel good some day, you just really have to bear down and stick with what's working. I just believe that will keep working for you and I think that's been a big learning lesson for me this year and one that will continue for the rest of pro ball."

Ehlers' consistent approach in 2006 has led him to some staggering numbers in the Florida State League. Not only ranking in the top ten in the league in home runs (18), he is tied for first in doubles (35) and leads the league in RBI with 103.

A self-professed contact hitter who doesn't classify himself as a home run hitter, Ehlers realizes that 18 home runs in the pitching-friendly Florida State League is no small feat and he'll be looking to improve on his power game heading into the 2007 season.

"I think a big thing is getting stronger," Ehlers listed as his top priority heading into the offseason, "doing little things that will help keep my body healthy for the whole year. Everybody gets their little nagging injuries and sore joints in the last part of the year. Finding a way to maintain your weight, maintain your strength, and just keeping that up is going to be big."

Quickly becoming a creature of habit which has enabled him to become one of the more consistent forces in the Yankee organization, Ehlers, not surprisingly, isn't looking to change anything too dramatically as he continues to progress in the system.

"In the offseason I worked out really hard and in Spring Training I did [as well}]," Ehlers added. "During the season I've done mostly maintenance types of workouts. I think with a little bit of age and more experience, I think I'll find ways to keep that up better next year. I think that will be a good goal for next year as well."

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