BROOKLYN, NY - For many rookies the first summer of professional ball is simply used to get their…
Bonfe Rounding Out His Game
Cyclones third baseman Joe Bonfe is hoping for success during his first stint with the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2010. If he continues to do the things he has been doing, that success will come sooner rather than later. It all starts with the work he puts in during the offseason to make sure his game is where it needs to be come opening day.
"They gave us a workout manual to follow and I pretty much followed that", he said. "I also got my swings in during the offseason and kept my arm in shape to prepare myself."
Bonfe's solid work ethic does not just occur throughout the offseason. Rather, he is constantly working to improve all aspects of his game in order to be the best player he can be. Whether he is hitting in the cages hours before a game or spending extra time in the gym to keep his body in shape, Bonfe does what he can to turn doubters into believers in terms of his preparation. A prime example of this is the hard work and dedication he put forth during his time at spring training earlier this year.
"I was working on my stance a little bit and where my hands should be located when I'm batting. The majority of the time I was working on fielding at third base, moving my feet quicker and getting in the right position to field the ball."
Bonfe's game has matured nicely since the Mets drafted him last year. Selected in the 21st round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Bonfe spent the majority of the 2009 season in the Appalachian League with the Kingsport Mets.
With Kingsport, he recorded 51 hits in just 40 games and finished with a .327 batting average. He also led the team in doubles and on-base percentage. Bonfe's production at Kingsport was good enough to promote him to Brooklyn this season, but he says his time at Kingsport was valuable and will not be forgotten.
"It was a great experience, playing rookie ball. I have obviously been playing ball before that, but I got my at-bats in. I was putting the ball in play, hitting it hard and I wasn't trying to do too much."
Bonfe performed well with his bat at Kingsport and he continues to hit the cover off the ball with the Cyclones. In 11 games this season, he is 14-for-39 (.359) with a .906 OPS. Bonfe has accumulated 12 hits in his last eight games. Clearly, there is one part of his game that has been exceeding the rest, as noted by Bonfe himself.
"My hitting, right now. (Brooklyn coach) Benny Distefano has been a great hitting coach and he's been working with me on my approach and the whole hitting aspect."
There is no question that Distefano has helped Bonfe get his timing down and improve his hitting, but there are other areas of his game he would like to develop in as well, most notably his fielding at the hot corner.
"Tying everything up together, a lot of fielding, getting my feet quicker and quicker and seeing the ball off the bat", Bonfe said of what he would like progress in. "I've been working with Joel Fuentes and Kevin Morgan and they have been really helping me move my feet to get in a good position to field."
As Bonfe works on his fielding, there is not much else he needs to perfect, thanks to his hot hitting. If he continues to sizzle at the batter's box, all of his commitment and allegiance to the game would be worth it and there may be another promotion in store for him
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