Pirela Maturing

Pirela hit two more home runs on Thursday

Just a .220 hitter with one home run before the All Star break, Jose Pirela admits he had a pretty hard time adjusting to the higher minor league level. Hitting demonstratively better in the second half, he believes the reason for his surge is his ability to mature more and begin to tackle the mental aspects of the game.

"I've been working really hard for it and I'm feeling really good, thank God," Jose Pirela said through the help of a translator. At the beginning of the season I was going through some rough times and I lost a little bit of confidence.

"Now that I've gained my confidence back and with all of that hard work that I've been doing, I've been feeling a lot better at the plate."

It truly has been a tale of two halves for the always energetic Pirela. Going 2-4 with two more home runs on Thursday, he is now hitting .276 after the Florida State League All Star break.

And with one more walk too, he has now increased his on-base percentage a full 111 points from the first half.

"This league is hard and I had to make the adjustment with the pitchers, with the pitch, and I've been concentrating more at the plate…what kind of pitch it will be, have a better plan, and put a good swing on the ball," he added.

Insisting his anemic first-half play was not the result of re-acclimating himself to the shortstop position after playing second base a majority of the previous two seasons, he says the biggest reason for his resurgent game is how he has begun understanding the mental side of the game more.

"Since Spring Training started, I've been working really hard to get more mature," he said. "The coaches have helped me out a lot.

"I've learned the game is more psychological than physical and so I've got a different approach [lately]. I'm just thinking more what I'm doing and I think I'm just maturing."

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