Not Concerned With Weems' Numbers

Weems is batting just .164 in his last 26 games

Getting your first taste of the long-season leagues is always one of the toughest milestones in any prospect's career, especially for a defensively demanding position like catcher. So while some observers might be worried about Chase Weems and his .214 average so far this season, his coaches believe there is no cause for concern.

Chase Weems, a native of Columbus, Georgia was drafted in the sixth round in 2007. The left-handed batter started out strong offensively but lately has struggled.

RiverDogs' manager Torre Tyson believes that it is a long season and is especially long when you have to catch everyday. Just because his numbers were there in the beginning and aren't there now isn't really the true story.

According to Tyson, you can't just look at the numbers and say he did well in the beginning and not well now. The season is a progression and he just has to find a way to work through it.

In April, Weems recorded a .316 batting average while in May he hit .167. As Tyson said numbers don't always matter because you could be driving the ball but the defense could be making outstanding plays.

As all players go through periods of struggle throughout the season, Weems is working on adjustments to have better success at the plate. He is currently hitting .214 with 25 hits in 117 at-bats. Also, posting nine runs batted in and five doubles.

"Just trying new things and trying to get the timing down," Weems said. "Some days it'll be perfect and some days it'll be off."

"Just keeping a consistent approach is what he needs to work on," said the RiverDogs' hitting coach, Greg Colbrunn. "It's just getting at-bats and seeing how it plays, trusting it [Weems' swing] on a daily basis."

Not only is he making adjustments in the batters box but he is also tweaking his mechanics behind the plate too.

"I've been working on catching and receiving the ball and also being softer behind the plate," he said.

"He's gotten better defensively," Tyson continued. "At times in the beginning of the season, he had a lack of concentration and sometimes the game seemed too fast for him. He's already gotten to the point where he is a little more relaxed and comfortable out there."

As of now, Weems is definitely more comfortable behind the plate and he believes that it is one of his strong points.

Only 20-years old, Weems expected these kinds of struggles in his first taste in the long-season leagues and he believes that every player goes through this and it is very normal.

Almost all players have to learn how to not carry their offensive struggles to defense and vice-versa.

"I think probably 75 percent of the players in this league do that and probably 10 out of 13 of our position players do the same thing," Tyson added. "And that's one of the things you need to learn not to do that because you won't be successful."

This is Weems first year with the Charleston RiverDogs' and the coaching staff is pleased with what they have seen so far and aren't concerned with his recent struggles.

"I don't think there is a panic or necessity to turn his season around," Tyson continued. "If he keeps developing as a catcher and hits .230 or .240 at the end of the year, that will still be a good season for him. We are not looking at the numbers per se, just his overall development."

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