|Not A Lost Year For Pompey|
Pompey feels like himself again
DUNEDIN, FL - Outfielder Dalton Pompey amassed just 70 combined official minor league at-bats over three levels this past season due to a broken hamate bone in his left hand. Currently at Instructs to continue working on his game, he says he doesn't feel his season was a lost year at all.
"I took a swing -- I was batting right-handed -- and I felt this weird tingly sensation," Pompey recalled the injury. "I tried to go to the outfield after the at-bat and I couldn't even catch the ball. They took me out, they sent me back here [to the minor league complex], and I had surgery on my hand.
"I think it was just over time, the amount of swings that I take, the repetitions, and the way I swing, it was going to happen eventually."
He lasted just eleven games with the Vancouver Canadians, leaving the lineup back on June 25th before eventually having surgery to remove the hamate bone on July 3rd.
"I was pretty disappointed because I went through all of Extended [Spring Training] and when the season started in Vancouver, it was a great atmosphere there," he said.
"I only played in like ten games and then when I found out I was hurt and would miss most of the season it's pretty devastating, especially when you're playing in short-season.
"The season's not as long as a full season. It was disappointing but you just have to look forward to the future, which is next year."
He made a full recovery pretty quickly though, resuming baseball activities around August 20th before joining the Bluefield Blue Jays for a few games and then earning a late-season promotion to low-A Lansing.
Currently playing in Instructional League games, physically he feels like his old self again.
"I feel great," he said with a huge grin. "I had a little sprain in my wrist going on but that's fine. I feel like I'm back to normal now."
While it might be tough for most observers to see the developments in his game given his limited at-bats, Pompey likes the progress in his game over the course of the past calendar year.
"Yeah, 100 percent," he said emphatically. "I feel like the repetitions and the meetings that we have with the coaches, and the individual meetings with myself and the hitting coaches, it's helped me tremendously to find out what my strengths are and try to work to my strengths, and try to learn a little bit about myself, that when the games do come around I know what I'm good at and what I need to do to be successful."
While he has some power, he knows his game is predicated on his hitting ability, speed, and outfield defense. But while he would have liked to not have had the injury, he also believes it wasn't a lost year at all for him.
"I don't think it was a lost year. I think just from the injury and overcoming that adversity -- I told myself when I got the injury that I wanted to finish the season and at least come back for a little bit -- I ended up doing that and reaching my goal in that aspect.
"Just from coming back here and learning, watching the other guys, meeting new people and seeing what they do -- I feel like just watching it and learning from the game instead of just playing it all of the time, it's a different way of looking at things.
"I never think it was a lost year but I wish I could have played the whole year," he concluded.