Reyes Bouncing Back From Injury

Reyes has been a steady contributor for the Gnats

SAVANNAH, GA - Outfielder Raul Reyes endured a disappointing season in 2008 when his year was cut short by an early injury. Now the outfielder known for a good arm and growing power is back in the Sand Gnats everyday lineup and feeling good about the way his season has started so far.

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"My ankle is 100 percent so I don't think about it much. I'm just trying to focus on playing hard, staying focused and helping my team," said Savannah outfielder Raul Reyes through Jose Carreno who translated.

Reyes, 22, was hitting .298 through 13 games with the Sand Gnats last season before suffering a broken ankle on April 16 that placed him on the disabled list for the remainder of the season.

"I've been able to come back strong this year and make adjustments. I don't think about getting injured. I feel fine physically and I just have to be prepared to come ready to play everyday."

He has been able to recover well as he is hitting .288 with the Gnats and a team leading .438 with runners in scoring position.

"I've able to see the ball a lot better and be able to make the ball travel further."

"I've worked hard on adjusting my hands and being able to spread the ball around the field. I think that has helped me with runners in scoring position," explained Reyes.

The lefty has nine RBI so far on the year and is confident that his success will continue and he will stay injury free.

"You can't be afraid to get hurt. Last year was unfortunate but it's in the past. I just want to keep working hard to be the best I can."

At 22 years old, Dominican Republic native is not old by minor league standards, but on a Savannah team that averages in age at just over 20, he is one of the older guys on the roster.

Wilmer Flores and Jefry Marte, both just 17, are two youngsters that have been constantly turning to Reyes for advice, especially Marte who also calls the Dominican Republic home.

"Being one of the older guys on the team, I feel responsible for helping these younger guys. Marte has been struggling lately and I have just been trying to give him as much advice as possible on and off the field."

"I just want to help those guys the most I can to help them get better through the season."

With more than a hundred games to go in the 2009 season, Reyes wants to stay focused and keep doing the little things in order to have continued success.

"I want to continue to work hard, both on my fielding and hitting. I like where I'm at and don't want to change much. I just want to keep working hard and stay consistent."

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