Gronauer Brings Stability to Savannah

Gronauer is working with the Gnats veteran staff

SAVANNAH, GA - Sand Gnats catcher Kai Gronauer has assisted his club in a number of ways. Not only is Gronauer off to a good start at the plate, but he is the primary manager of the South Atlantic League's top pitching staff. Gronauer, who is in his second year with the club, talked about both parts of his game with InsidePitchMagazine.com.

Kai Gronauer is not a new comer to the team and he has definitely proven to be a leader. His second season with the team is in full swing and he has been working to be a more complete hitter while also being more patient at the plate.

"Offensively, I'm just trying to see the ball a little longer this year. I had a couple stretches last year where I was rushing too much, trying to do too much, and this year I'm waiting for the pitch that I want to hit, and I'm just trying to see the ball long," Gronauer said.

Gronauer is off to a good start at the plate. He is hitting .268 with two home runs and 15 RBI and a .356 on-base percentage through 33 games. Gronauer, who is an asset behind the plate, is working hard to polish his defensive game.

"Defensively I can always get better and this year I am focusing on working with the pitchers; making them feel comfortable throwing pitches that are not fully developed…we get a lot of change ups," he said.

He also wants to continue working on the physiological part of the game as he is confident in the physical aspect.

"It's a lot of mental stuff I want to work on because physically there is only little things here and there, but I definitely want to work on communicating with the pitchers," he said.

Gronauer has said that while he is not content, he has adjusted well at the plate and is learning to think quickly on his feet. He takes full responsibility for his performance in each game.

"I'm not necessarily more comfortable; it's not the pitching that dictates how my game goes, it is more about me. Since I've played a full year now I kind of know what going on, what to do in certain situations and how to get of a feel of when I feel good at the plate," he explained.

This season, Gronauer is working with an older pitching staff, including third-year pitchers James Fuller, Mark Cohoon, Collin McHugh and less experienced pitchers like Darin Gorski and Armando Rodriguez, who are more defined but he admitted that much hasn't changed.

"I think we have a little bit more control in the pitcher's throws this year. Other than that they still have to develop their secondary pitches like we did last year so nothing really drastic," Gronauer said.

With the new pitching staff in place, Gronauer and his crew have developed a game plan to out-smart their opponent.

"Here in Savannah we have a very big field. So we are trying to establish the inside part of the plate first and then work from there late in the game," said Gronauer. "We got to be a little bit more focused and more prepared than the other team. That has been the game plan so far and it works out well."

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