Sardinha Develops Through Demotion

Sardinha says he won't take anything for granted

When a prospect is advancing through the farm system, a demotion can be often be detrimental to their confidence, emotions, and overall development, but Bronson Sardinha was able to cope. After just 15 games with Double-A Trenton, and a .429 batting average, he found himself back with the team he began 2007 with, not to mention a better outlook on his own development as a player.

"I was frustrated to hear about my demotion," Bronson Sardinha admitted. "It's not the place I thought I would be, or something I thought would happen when I began the season."

"I mean, at first I was a little upset, but it was the right move based on how I have been performance-wise this season. It was what was needed to be done. In the long run it worked out, it worked out really good. I was able to make myself a stronger player, mentally and physically," he added.

After 61 games with Triple-A Scranton, and a .221 season batting average, the 24 year-old outfielder was demoted to Double-A Trenton where the Yankees hoped he would find his swing.

He found more than just his swing though. During his first game with Trenton, Sardinha belted a dramatic first game home run, and began to feel his confidence, focus, and ability re-tuning.

More importantly, the demotion refueled Sardinha's fire, and served as a source of motivation for the outfielder to get back on track.

"When I went down there to Trenton, I really wanted to show them that I did not belong there at all, that I belong in Triple-A. It ended up being very, very motivational; it made me work hard at finding a good groove and improving myself."

The outfielder wasn't exactly cold going into the demotion, his swing was slowly retuning, but that does not mean the Sardinha regrets the demotion.

"For the week and a half before getting sent down, I felt that I was back where I needed to be, hitting-wise, the same way I felt last year in Triple-A and during this season's Spring Training."

"I was seeing the ball really well. I went in to Trenton swinging somewhat of a hot bat, and it just carried over. Like I said before; mentally, it set a fire under me, it helped me improve myself as a player and really turn on the heat."

"I was really able to regain my confidence and focus, and that was what helped me the most," Sardinha said.

After proving to the Yankees' organization that he found an offensive groove, Sardinha was recalled back to Scranton.

"It was exciting to be back, I love being here. It was a fun time down there, and much better than I thought it was going to be. When I learned about my call-up, I realized that I would miss it, and the people I worked with. Now that I'm back, I feel great though, I feel even more confident at the plate. Now it's time to make myself a better player than when I started."

Since the promotion, Sardinha has just focused on small improvements to help ensure the he helps the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in the pennant race, and continues developing as a hitter.

"At this point, I just want to finish the year strong. Everything is getting exciting now that we are in the playoff race. I'm just going to keep my play consistent and play hard till the end of the season, that way I can help myself and the team."

"I've been hitting alright since I got back, my approach has gotten a little better, and I just have to stay focused, and believe in myself, and have a little chip in my shoulder. I've struck out too much [though], I need to work on that."

Since retuning, Sardinha has hit .222 with three home runs, but his walk-to-strikeout ratio is even more alarming. In only 18 games this month, Sardinha has walked only four times, and struck out 15 times.

"I have changed the mechanics of my swing a little bit," he said of his approach since being recalled. "I'm not trying to swing for the fences as much, but I need to work harder at seeing more pitches at the plate. Also, I am trying to hit the ball to the opposite field more, that gave me trouble early on in the season, and I want to improve on that aspect of my game."

Aside from learning what he needs to improve technique-wise, Sardinha has learned some valuable life lessons over the course of the 2007 season as well.

"I'm not going to take things for granted ever again. I sort of did that this year, and that's what caused a lot of my problems. I just have to keep working hard and improve myself as a player," he concluded.

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