Player of the Week
My priority is catching, so I don’t like to talk much about hitting. But it’s
ittle difficult to avoid the topic lately.
I have had good streaks before, but none like the one I had a week ago. It
was incredible. To quote the summary put out by Major League Baseball when I was named
National League Player of the Week: .652 batting average (15-for-23) with six doubles and nine RBIs for the week ending May 25, compiling a .654 on-base and 1.043 slugging percen
tage in that span.
I wish I could explain why a player catches fire at the plate. You just do. You see the ball better. It’s hard to put into words because, obviously, your eyesight doesn’t su
ddenly get better. Maybe something shifts in your brain that allows you — for some limited time — to be hyper-focused. I don’t know. All I know is that my eyes seem to pick the ball up right when it leaves the pitcher’s hand.
And here’s Part II of being on a good streak: When the ball reaches you, you know exactly what to do with it.
I always have a plan for every bat, which depends on who’s pitchin
g, what the game situation is, etc. So that’s the same whether you’re on a good streak or a bad one. But when you’re going good, you execute your plan almost every time. You get the pitch you’re looking for. You hit it just the way you want.
And of course, success breeds confidence. So when you’re going good, you relax. You don’t press. You don’t go trying to hit a home run when all you need is a base hit. You go up to the plate truly believing that nobody can get you out.
I know, too, that part of any really great streak has some element of luck. I got a lot of good pitches to hit. They weren’t pitching around me. They weren’t getting me out. I had the opportunities to come through and keep hitting.
It helped that part of the road trip was in Miami. I love that weather. It’s the weather of my childhood in Puerto Rico.
Some people have asked if I had any superstitions about how to keep the streak going — like not changing my socks or taking batting practice from a particular coach. I don’t believe in superstitions, so I just went about my day the way I always do.
We’re up against the Mets tonight and looking to have another exciting win like yesterday’s. I’m still feeling invincible at the plate. I still feel that nobody can get me out. Even when I do get out, I know I’m swinging well and still seeing the ball.
That’s it for now. I enjoy answering your questions, so don’t hesitate to write me. I’ll answer them in a future entry.
As always, thanks for reading and for supporting my teammates and me. We love seeing you out at the ballpark.