The move from college ball to the professional ranks can change a player's practices and comforts in…
Abruzzo Moves On Up to Brooklyn
Rather than be flustered or nervous about the call up, Abruzzo knows that things will be tougher now in the NY-Penn League and understands that he's going to have to step up his game.
"I just need to go out and relax and play my game," said Abruzzo. "This atmosphere here in Brooklyn is a lot different from Kingsport, but that doesn't change how the game is played. My first priority is to be sound behind the plate and if I'm hitting, then that's just a bonus and hopefully, I can add some pop to the lineup and drive in some runs. The pitching is a little tougher here and I'm just going to go the best I can."
Replacing the struggling Yasmil Bucce at catcher, Abruzzo brings the power and consistency at the plate which Bucce, who was hitting .143 at the time of his demotion, just could not produce. With a need for some more power in the lineup, Cyclones manager Edgar Alfonzo loves what Abruzzo brings to the table and feels he can help the team win. With three hits in his first three games with the team, it's obvious that Abruzzo has been making his presence felt at the plate.
"He makes a big difference out there," said Alfonzo. "Bucce was injured most of last season and is still trying to find his way back, but Abruzzo gives us something different. He has some work ahead of him too, but he's a very good catcher and I like the way he handles himself out there. I like the way he calls games and handles the staff, but most of all, I like the way he swings the bat."
If a ringing endorsement from Alfonzo is not enough, even Abruzzo's new teammates like what they see from him so far and are thrilled that he is in Brooklyn.
"I think he's good, I like him a lot," said Cyclones catcher/first baseman Jason Jacobs. "I think he has a really good bat and I think he's going to hit well here. I like the way he handles the staff as well. I had a chance to play some summer ball with him a few years back and played against him a little bit and college and I think he's a good addition to this team."
While the respect and confidence of his teammates and coaching staff will obviously provide Abruzzo with the atmosphere he needs to succeed, he understands what is being asked of him and is ready to perform to the best of his ability.
"I know this team is competitive and I know they want to win," said Abruzzo. "I'm going to do my best and make sure that handling this pitching staff is my first priority."
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