Honeck Showing Discipline at the Plate

BROOKLYN, NY - The power numbers have yet to arrive for 11th round pick Sam Honeck, but the first baseman has provided valuable consistency and at the plate. With roughly half the season left, Honeck is showing improved discipline by not overextending himself and instead working on a contact stroke that will benefit him in the long run.

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Sam Honeck has been one of the real go to guys for the Cyclones through the first month of the NYPL season. For the kid who came into pro ball with relatively few concerns, the 22-year-old has transitioned seamlessly, and really found his niche in Brooklyn.

Coming in to this year there were questions as to whether or not he would be able to fill the gap left by the promotion of Ike Davis, both at the plate and in the field. But after just under a month there are no skeptics left at KeySpan Park, where Honeck is already a fan favorite.

"My time with Brooklyn has been great, really enjoyable. It is all huge for me, and I have really got no complaints," said Honeck

He came into this season knowing his opposite field hitting has been a bit of a struggle for him in the past, and he has been able to address his problem at the plate. On top of doing a good job driving the ball to the opposite field, through Wednesday's night's action, he was hitting .295 (36-for-122), to go along with 14 RBIs and 12 walks which are both good for third on the team.

"I am really just trying to make good contact and really get to know the pitchers. From there I just try and get to the ball and hit it hard. Opposite field power is something I have been working on everyday."

"He has had a tremendous year. He provides great defense and first and has done well with the bat," said Cyclones manager Pedro Lopez. "What he has done that is most important has been his ability to hit the ball the other way. He is not strictly a pull hitter, and he is doing a good job staying within himself and taking what the pitcher gives him."

"He has come especially far with his discipline at the plate. When he first got here he was pulling more balls," Lopez continued. "While he was not quite a dead-pull hitter, most of his hits were going to that side. Now he is driving the ball to all fields, and his two-strike approach has improved a lot."

Something that does stick out a bit from his first couple of weeks is the fact that he has hit zero homeruns. Granted the heavy gusts that blow in from right nearly every night in Brooklyn do a good job of keeping lefties in the park, it would be encouraging to see him start hitting for some power. The lefty has been limited to only three extra-base hits all year, all doubles.

"He has got some power, but right now he is staying within himself and not trying to do too much. Trying to hit a homerun in this ballpark can drive you a bit crazy, especially with the wind coming in from right every night. His homeruns will come eventually and I think that will be the last part of his game to develop," said Lopez.

Though enduring an early season power outage, Honeck continues to have a bright outlook for the remainder of his first professional year.

"It has been a great year so far and I can't take anything for granted. I am enjoying my role on the team and everything about this year is special for me."

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