Sublett Back To His Patient Approach

Damon Sublett is back to taking walks

A lot of player development at the minor league level is trying new things to see what works. Second baseman Damon Sublett - who was told to employ a very aggressive approach at the plate in the Hawaiian Winter League - quickly found out over the offseason that simply isn't his game. Now going back to his patient style, he has enjoyed one of the better camps in the organization this Spring.

"It's a lot better," Damon Sublett said of his patient approach. "That's just the way I am, I'm a patient guy. If I get deep into the count, that's the way I do it. It's just a lot better going back to the old way."

Completely changing his approach with the Waikiki BeachBoys over the offseason, he hit just .253 and walked only three times in 78 plate appearances, a far cry from the player who walked 43 times in just 68 games for the Staten Island Yankees in 2007.

"Out in Hawaii I was just chasing a lot of bad balls," he admitted. "That's not something I usually do a lot of. It was just throwing me off of my game. It's just a lot better being patient and seeing more pitches."

Seeing more pitches in camp he has. Seemingly having a multi-hit game everyday, there was a game last week where he went to a three-ball count in every at-bat and he wound up going 3-3 at the plate.

Also helping him have one of the better camps this Spring has been his added power. The power hasn't exactly come in the form of home runs just yet, but he has been putting a noticeably different charge into his line-drives.

"I'm around the same weight but I'm a lot bigger – lot's more muscle," he said. "I'm a lot stronger this year. This is probably the best shape I've been in. I feel good."

Feeling good and looking great, and with his ankle injury of a year ago completely behind him, Sublett is hoping to forget his 2008 season and once again become that player that had one of the better Staten Island seasons in team history two years ago.

"I think [I can]," he opined. "I just need to go out and be healthy, that's the number one thing, get the AB's in, get the experience in, and stay healthy."

Playing well on both sides of the ball in Spring Training, now that he's finally healthy, he wants to get back to the aspect of his game that he desperately wants to improve.

"I still want to push the running game and it's something I need to do," Sublett said. "I still haven't shown it, steal some bases.

"It's a mindset with me too, just be aggressive. I've never had to do it in my career before but I know I can do it. It's something I've got to work on."

Though he seemingly has done enough in camp to move up a level this coming season, after hitting just .263 and missing the final three months of the season with the Tampa Yankees a year ago, he might be ticketed back to the Florida State League and it's a prospect that he doesn't mind at all.

"I think we're going to have a really good team this year. It's a fun group of guys and I think we're going to hit.

"It should be fun. I have no idea where I'm going to hit in this order there's so many guys, but it'll be a fun lineup to be a part of," he concluded.

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

Become an annual subscriber today! Recommended Stories