Sardinha Gets Back to Basics

Sardinha isn't looking to change much in '07

Bronson Sardinha, a former number one draft pick in 2001, is looking to get back to the basics this season. He recently completed a successful offseason, playing in 19 Spring Training affairs and compiling a .324 batting average. He takes his Spring Training success into Scranton, happy with his time in camp this spring.

One of the best parts of Spring Training for Sardinha was the chance to spend time with former Triple-A hitting coach, and present Yankees hitting coach, Kevin Long.

"Being able to go up there and work out with my Triple-A hitting coach, Kevin Long, who is a big league hitting coach now - it's good to get back to basics with him and to have him up there," said Bronson Sardinha. "It's nice because he knows what type of hitter I am."

Sardinha was also very thankful for the opportunity to learn from the Major League players in camp, including some old friends.

"And getting to be around big league players like Giambi, Damon, and Jeter, taking advice from them and seeing how they go about their business was really important as well," he revealed. "I mean, I've played with Robinson Cano, Melky, and Wang, and it's good to just to be around them again."

Now in Scranton, Sardinha is ready to get down to business. Knowing the pressure of being a number one draft pick, Sardinha believes he is more mature and he's taking himself in the right direction.

"After I got drafted, I was trying to rush myself, thinking I could get up there," said Sardinha, who turned 24 on Friday. "Right now, I just need to slow down, and take each day as they come."

Having the opportunity to watch Phil Hughes and how he handles the constant pressure of being the number one guy in the Yankees minor league organization has given Sardinha a chance to really grow as a player and understand where he might have made a mistake in the past.

"Being around guys like Hughes and stuff, for that kind of pressure that's on him, he just takes it in. I kind of wish I did things like he does now," he admitted.

Keeping this in mind, Sardinha looks forward to the chance to continue to improve his consistency at the plate.

"Just having a consistent approach at the plate, with just pitch direction and my swing," he said of his goals for the season. "I'm not trying to change too much, and trust in my abilities."

"Most of it is a mental thing, being confident in myself everyday," he said when referring to his attempts to overcome his past struggles with consistency at the plate, "That's about it."

"Hitting-wise I've got to go in and get my work done, keep everything the same, focus on hitting and hopefully the results will come out good."

In addition, Sardinha hopes to have the opportunity to steal more bases this year, something he didn't feel he had as much of an opportunity for in the past.

"The past couple of years under my past manager he didn't' want me stealing much because of who was behind me in the line-up. I really didn't get to steal much."

"I think up here when I get the chance, I'm going to think about running more, to try and get more stolen bases. I guess my goal for this year would be to try and get around 20."

He knows he has his work cut out with him, but believes he's taking the right steps to get the promotion to New York somewhere down the line.

"Just trying to carry on from last year," Sardinha said of his goals for growing as a complete player this year, "basically, going out there to try and learn from the guys and have a consistent approach at the plate - to go out there and try and show what I can do."

"If anything happens, hopefully they'll have a feel for what type of player I am, and maybe I can get that call-up."

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