Staten Island catcher Trent Garrison has been working hard on his timing at the plate. He found it Monday.
Garrison homered twice and plated four runs in the short-season Yankees' 9-0 victory over the visiting Vermont Lake Monsters. He also aided the effort behind the plate, backstopping Staten Island starter Caleb Smith and three relievers in a combined two-hitter.
A 28th-round pick in the 2013 Draft, Garrison was quick to credit Staten Island batting coach Ty Hawkins for working with him to improve his swing.
"He's been a really great help to me," the Fresno State product said. "I felt confident at the plate.
"In the beginning of the season, it was a little tough to get my timing down, rhythm," he added. "[Hawkins] kept working on my timing. I was struggling in the beginning. It all kind of pieced together."
After flying out in his first at-bat, Garrison came to the plate in the fourth with one out and the bases empty. He swung at a first-pitch changeup and drove it out to right field to extend the Yankees' lead to 2-0.
"My plan at the plate is just to look fastball and adjust to anything else. I caught a changeup out front and it happened to go out," he said.
Garrison grounded to first base in the sixth. One frame later, he helped put the game out of reach with a three-run shot.
"I got to two strikes, it was against a left-handed pitcher [Jerad Grundy] and I was just trying to make contact. I happened to catch a curveball," he said.
That capped the scoring for the Yankees, who pounded out 11 hits to end a three-game skid. Garrison, who raised his average to .259 for the season, has recorded multiple hits in three of his past four games.
Staten Island also got a big performance from the Yankees' No. 5 prospect, Eric Jagielo, who went 2-for-5 with a three-run homer. He has two dingers and seven RBIs in the past four games.
"He's fun to watch," Garrison said of Jagielo. "He has an idea of what he wants to do and he does it well. I'm happy to have him on the team."
The catcher was also happy behind the dish as the four Staten Island hurlers racked up 13 strikeouts in the shutout..
"They made it really easy on me," he said. "It makes my job fun and a lot easier to do when the pitchers are pounding the zone like that."
Garrison was impressed by Smith's fastball in the first. The southpaw tossed four scoreless frames and fanned five batters to lower his ERA to 1.89. Smith hasn't allowed an earned run since Aug. 4.
Philip Walby (3-1) also struck out five over three hitless innings. Stefan Lopez and Andury Acevedo each pitched a scoreless frame to complete the two-hitter.
Ryon Healy had both hits for the Lake Monsters, singling in the fourth and the ninth.