CHARLESTON, SC - Outfielder Jake Cave is in the midst of his first full season after missing the…
Cave Adjusting Quickly
The six-foot lefty believed his stint in Extended Spring Training improved his game significantly.
"I did really well," Cave said. "I worked on my hitting approach and staying through the middle of the field."
According to Cave, these are all things that he has brought into this season playing with Charleston.
"I can't explain how happy I am," he continued. "The wind on this field is tough to get used to but I think I have adjusted well and I am getting more used to night games."
Coming out of Kecoughtan High School in Hampton, Va., Cave was named Co-Eastern Region Player of the Year and hit .594 with 16 extra-base hits. The 21-year old was selected by the Yankees in the sixth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
Unfortunately Cave did not participate in the 2012 season due to undergoing right knee surgery. But the outfielder wants to put that behind him and focus on the current season as it unfolds.
"I need to come out and prove to the Yankees' organization that missing a full year because of a injury didn't set me back any," Cave remarked.
RiverDogs hitting coach P.J. Pilittere recognizes that Cave has fully recovered from his injury and is confident that it doesn't affect his game at all.
"We knew in Spring Training he was full go," Pilittere explained. "I think they wanted to get him some at-bats down there just to prove he was healthy instead of rushing into it."
Pilittere's impressions of Cave's performance so far are all positive.
"Jake is doing a good job," Pilittere stated. "He's a hard-nosed baseball player who really gets after it. He has a grinder mentality.
"Jake is a guy that has done a great job of calming himself down, he has really matured nicely and has started to understand his swing a lot more."
During his first six games with the RiverDogs, Cave has a batting average of .346 and has begun his South Atlantic League career with a six-game hitting streak. The Virginia native knows he needs to keep his current momentum to be successful in future games.
"I want to finish this year strong, and continue to work my way up," Cave said. "I need to complete this season on a positive note."
First-year RiverDogs manager Al Pedrique recognized that Cave's performance in Extended Spring Training earned him a spot in Charleston.
"He definitely has talent," Pedrique said. "During Spring Training I was impressed with his tools and the way he goes about his business.
"Jake is a kid that works very hard and always wants to get better. Most importantly, he has adjusted well to playing with us. He has a decent idea about how to play the game."
Pedrique has high expectations for Cave as the season develops. But the RiverDogs manager voiced Cave's need for improvement in certain areas of his game.
"Basically work on his consistency in the outfield by getting good jumps and a good read," Pedrique mentioned. "Offensively stay short with his swing and use the whole field when he is at the plate."
The adjustment for Cave joining the RiverDogs has been somewhat of an easy transition thus far. Cave believes the promotion warranted by the Yankees was well deserved and is looking forward to the rest of the 2013 season.
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