Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
fyrftrjim

Patrick Leyland

Recommended Posts

Son of Detroit Tigers manager improving skills in Norwich.

By JOE PEREZ

jperez@norwichbulletin.com

Posted Jun 30, 2011 @ 11:08 PM

NORWICH — Patrick Leyland doesn’t remember a specific moment, but he knew for a long time that he wanted to play professional baseball.

The 19-year-old catcher is doing just that. He made his third start with the Connecticut Tigers on Thursday night.

If the name sounds familiar, it is because Leyland is the son of Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland.

But the younger Leyland, an eighth-round selection in the 2010 draft, won’t accept any handouts. Patrick Leyland has had expectations placed upon him because of his name.

“You sort of learn to deal with it,” he said. “I think going into spring training, I tried to block it out so bad that it did get to me a little bit this year with going to big league camp. You just have to keep telling yourself it’s the same game.”

Last season, Leyland played for the Gulf Coast League Tigers. In 41 games, he hit .219 with 12 RBIs. He had not played prior to Monday due to a calf injury that landed him on the disabled list.

Wealth of talent

Coming into Thursday, Leyland had three hits in eight at-bats with a pair of RBIs. Leyland is an aggressive hitter who doesn’t strike out much — 17 times last year — and hits for contact.

The consensus between Connecticut manager Andrew Graham and Detroit’s roving catching coordinator, Joe Depastino, is that Leyland is blessed with a wealth of talent. Because the 6-foot-2, 200-pound catcher didn’t see as many games playing high school ball as players from warmer climates, Leyland needs to get used to playing every day.

The things Leyland does behind that plate that will likely determine how far he goes.

“He’s a little raw and it all starts with his set-up,” Depastino said. “He’s got a good arm, blocking — everything is good. Right now he’s working on his set-up a little bit more. If he gets that good set-up and good base, which he’s been working on in the last few days, that’s going to help.”

Said Graham, who was once a catcher in the Tigers farm system: “He controls the staff very well. He’s been around the game of baseball a long time. He’s picked up some things.”

Leyland had a rough time Thursday.

He threw the ball over the head of first baseman Jeff Holm in the first after the batter struck out on a ball in the dirt; three innings later, another batter swung at a wild pitch that Leyland couldn’t grab; then with the Tigers down a run in the sixth, Leyland’s throw to second on a stolen base attempt was short of the bag and hopped into the outfield letting the runner reach third.

To add injury to insult, Leyland hit a hard liner to third that led to a runner on second being doubled up.

Familar face

Graham knows Leyland from the GCL Tigers last season and said the biggest differences from a year ago is Leyland’s stance is wider at the plate and he’s improved his athleticism.

Leyland’s biggest strength, especially at catcher, is his knowledge of the game. By no means does he have the mental aspect of the game in check, but Depastino said Leyland picks up on details and instruction quicker than most players.

“I know I have to work hard and I’ve brought that approach since I’ve been here, sometimes to a fault.” Leyland said. “As far as picking up on things, we have a lot of bright people here that pick up on things. Pitchers give you stuff that they pick up on. I don’t think I’m any different in that regard. People ask me all the time about being around the game, but until you do it yourself you don’t really understand what you’re doing.”

Son of Detroit Tigers manager improving skills in Norwich - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      96,453
    • Total Posts
      2,876,701
  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Upcoming Events

    No upcoming events found
×
×
  • Create New...