We sat down with Staten Island manager Josh Paul for a Q&A session to get his thoughts on what kind…
Not All Negative For Angelini
"It definitely started out pretty rough, the first half for sure," he admitted. "I think the first couple of weeks went pretty well and then the rest of my time in Charleston went downhill after that. I struggled swinging the bat.
"I think it was good that I got to go down to Tampa for a couple of weeks. I worked with Gary Denbo and pretty much had one-on-one hitting instruction while I was there and I made some adjustments with my load mainly, basically to develop something more consistent to put myself in a position to hit, that was my big thing. I definitely think it did me some good."
Though the results sure didn't show it, failing to match his Charleston clip with just a .190 average in Statend Island, Angelini says his time in the NY-Penn League was more about experimenting with his swing.
"As far as swinging the bat, I worked on a few things and tried some new things," he said of his time in Staten Island. "I had some success and I had some failure. It was just a matter of being consistent.
"I just wasn't able to stay consistent with it. I think I had one bad, bad streak there. I went like 0-40 or 0-50. That was pretty hard for me to bounce back from. After that I felt like I developed a routine and got comfortable with some of the things that I was doing."
He did end the season on a better note, hitting .215 with three home runs in his final 34 games, and he was one of the more impressive hitters at the Yankees Instructional League camp after the season.
"I got a chance to go down to Instructional League and work on some things," he added. "It was basically the same thing, I developed a load that I was comfortable with that allows me to keep my swing short and free.
"I really like what I did at Instructs. I had some immediate success with it and that helped me build some confidence.
"Basically in Staten Island I'd like to call it ‘tinker-time'. I was tinkering and trying to find a load that was consistent for me and that I was comfortable with, I tried some extreme things from start to finish. I've compared all of them and I just took bits and pieces of the things that I liked and didn't like.
"When I got to Instructs I had a good idea of what I wanted to do and I got feedback from the coaches of what I needed to do and what I needed to change. I was just a lot more comfortable at Instructs than I was during the season with what I was doing at the plate.
"I had some immediate success with the load that I changed at Instructs. I was just confident with it at the plate. I wasn't worried about where my hands were or where my feet were, it was going out there and hitting. Instructs for me was a more simplified approach than I was taking during the season.
"I was getting frustrated during the season with the things that I was trying because sometimes I'd be swinging the bat well and hitting the ball hard but it was right to people.
"It's not something you can do anything about and that gets frustrating, but of course there were other times I was struggling and not hitting the ball well. It was just trying to find that consistent load for me, that was my main focus."
He admits that during the Staten Island season there was a time where he felt he was guiding the ball more than attacking it and that perhaps his extended struggles at the plate caused him to over-think things a bit too much.
"There was one point during that season that ‘Hawk', our hitting coach Ty Hawkins, told me ‘go up there and let it fly. Don't worry about what you're doing and just let it fly'. I think that at-bat I hit a triple to the left-centerfield gap," Angelini recounted.
"It was just a matter of I'd get comfortable in the box, just let the head [of the bat] fly, simplify things. I think I got caught up in what am I doing, what's my load, and just got away from hitting.
"There's been a lot of trial and error for me. I think the main thing for me is just simplifying things, just getting back to hitting and letting my natural abilities take over."
Looking back at his season as a whole, he now realizes he pressed a bit too much in Charleston and the lack of results caused him to make constant changes to his game. But with a better finish to the season and a very good showing at Instructs, he believes he ended the season on a better note.
"Of course hitting .190 is ultimately not good and not the numbers I wanted to put up in Staten Island, but as far as the things I learned in Staten Island and the way I played defense there, and on into Instructs with hitting the ball well, it definitely left a good taste in my mouth.
"I'm happy with the way that ended. For sure it's something that I can take into next year."
So while statistically there isn't much to like about Angelini's season, if there is a silver lining it's the fact that despite all of his struggles, he not only hasn't lost any confidence but he has found some positives.
"When I look back to everything I've went through I definitely don't lose confidence in myself," he reiterated. "If anything I try to build off of it. I've struggled so far and it's been really hard to get through those times, but I've gone through them, I've learned from them, and ultimately I've gotten better.
"I'm a much better baseball player now than I was the day I signed. I'm 100 percent confident in myself. I'm confident in my abilities and it's just a matter of going out there and playing the game and letting it happen.
"I think sooner or later it will. Confidence is definitely not an issue with me. So it's not all negative for me."
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