Forsythe Looking To Get More Work In

Forsythe is happy with his defensive progress

Leading Savannah in doubles, finishing second in home runs, and having a better second half than first half, there were some definite positives out of Blake Forsythe's first full minor league season in 2011 and now he says he's looking to get some more time in at Instructs.

Despite hitting just .235 this season, he hit a team-high 24 doubles for the Savannah Sand Gnats and finished with nine home runs.

"It was my first full season in pro ball," he said. "I think I made a lot of progress. Me and my coaches worked a lot this year. I think I made a lot of progress in every area of my game.

"I think my catching improved, I think my game calling improved. We worked on my hitting, trying different things here and there. Overall the numbers weren't as great as I would like but personally I think I made a lot of good progress."

The progress was certainly noticeable. He hit 29 points higher in the second half with 16 more walks and clubbed six of his home runs.

"I kind of had to figure out the game a little bit," he said of the biggest difference. "I think it comes with time. You start to learn yourself, you start to learn how the game is.

"You just learn things and I think that's how baseball is – it's a learning process and as the season went on I was making that progress and learning more things about myself, and learning what works for me and my swing, the little things I had to do to make myself successful. More and more experience helped me on kind of what I need to do."

A quick glance at the numbers would suggest being more patient at the plate was the biggest factor in upping his offensive game after the All Star break. Forsythe takes it one step further, however.

"It's about my own swing and what works best for me," he continued. "It all starts with pitch recognition, putting yourself in a position to recognize the pitches and know what you can and can not take a good swing on. If a guy's got a good curveball or a good slider, you don't hit that.

"You hit what you can, that's what it comes down to; knowing what you can control in the zone and what you can't. In the first half I think I was more free-swinging, trying to attack the ball a lot more. Attacking the ball is not a bad thing but going after pitches you can't handle is."

Always known as more of a catch-and-throw guy, even though he felt he made some strides defensively in 2011 too, he says building on his better second half offensive success is the key going forward.

"I did a lot of great things on the defensive side catching-wise and learning the game and game calling, but more importantly going forward I want to be more consistent with my offensive side, have a consistent offensive approach and continue that."

Quite frankly, the bat is going to be his focal point for Instructs.

"Absolutely, it's something I have to find," he said flatly. "I have to find that groove to keep me on an even-keel. There's always going to be ups and downs, and slumps, it's just the game of baseball. I just have to find out what works best for me and just stay on a consistent groove."

Coming off of the longest season in his entire baseball life, Forsythe hasn't put any unrealistic goals together for his own personal Instructional League season; he's keeping his goals simple.

"Getting my work in," he said of what would be a successful Instructs. "It's been a long season so going to Instructs I'll be working on little things here and there, it's more of a hand-on approach.

"I don't think there's going to be many games this fall, but the few games we do have I'll take what to work on into the offseason and see if it works out for me."

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