Laumann Back At It

Laumann has four extra-base hits in 10 games

ORLANDO, FL - As the son of a Chicago White Sox scout, Jackson Laumann had always dreamed of playing pro ball. His dream became reality last year when the Braves selected him in the 31st round of the first year player draft out of Boone County High School in Kentucky. He decided to forego a college career at the University of Cincinnati. Little did he know his dream would be put on hold.

Laumann missed much of the 2011 GCL season with a shoulder injury that required season-ending surgery. It has been a long road to recovery, but Laumann has remained positive the whole way.

"Coming off of surgery, I had a lot of rehab I had to do," Laumann said, "you know, just trying to get the shoulder back to full strength. Once that started to feel good I was basically working on mechanics, getting back into baseball shape, and a lot of throwing programs."

The 6-foot-3, 220 pounder cited weight gain and subsequent loss that came with the territory of season-ending surgery.

"When I came off surgery I put on some pounds for a little while, just from sitting around," he said. "But since then I've dropped about 15-20 pounds and right now I'm just trying to maintain [my weight]."

The right-hand hitting first-baseman felt improvement at Spring Training and Extended Spring Training camp.

"It went pretty good. Since it was my first time seeing live pitching in over a year, I took some time to adjust and once I got it down, started to get the feel of things. I feel I got a little better."

Currently hitting .306 with an .847 OPS through his first ten professional games, Laumann wants to get better and knows hard work will help him get there. He's been working regularly with hitting coach DJ Boston every morning on the mechanics of his swing.

"Just trying to get a good repetition going and get comfortable [with my swing]," Laumann said.

He really believes in his work ethic; putting in the hours with Coach Boston, working off the tee, and altering the fundamentals of his swing to improve his bat.

Manager Rocket Wheeler appreciates Laumann's effort, and is really high on his future.

"He's made a lot of improvements: he's worked on his foot-work around first-base, he's worked on his swing, he's getting better everyday, and when I get a chance to put him in he finds a way to get a hit or finds a way to drive in a big run," Wheeler said.

Wheeler thinks Laumann's "got" the proverbial "it" factor.

"I tell you, there's something about him," Wheeler continued. "When the guys are in scoring position, he's got a knack for driving them in.

"As Rick Albert always says, 'Them guys are born,' and when you got RBI guys, guys who get up there with men in scoring position, they find a way to drive them in. We'll look for big things out of him."

It's safe to say that Laumann's dream is still alive and his work toward the future won't let it die anytime soon.

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