Jaycob Brugman said his game isn't based on home runs and he hasn't quite perfected his trot yet. With 11 jacks in an impressive California League debut, though, he's certainly getting ample opportunities to practice it.
The A's prospect bashed a pair of jacks, giving him nine in his last nine games, on a four-hit night Saturday as Class A Advanced Stockton rallied for a 14-10 victory over visiting San Jose.
"I'm just trying to go out there every day and keep doing the same thing," said Brugman, who has lifted his average 69 points to .296 with hits in 12 of his last 14 games. "What I really focus on is a routine, keeping the same routine each day when I come to the field. I'm just looking for my pitch and not missing it. That's been the key lately. Sometimes you get on a hot streak and you don't miss those pitches that you should hit."
Riding the biggest power surge of his two-year career, Brugman started with some small ball on Saturday night, singling and scoring in the second inning on Tyler Marincov's double. In the fifth, he doubled home Ryon Healy for the first of four RBIs.
Brugman swung his power bat in back-to-back trips to the plate in the seventh and eighth. First, the BYU product followed Healy's leadoff single in the seventh with a blast to right field. Then, he swatted another shot to right to cap a four-run inning.
"When I get up there, I do have confidence, just knowing that I'm going to square up a ball, not necessarily saying, 'I'm going to hit a home run right here,'" he said. "I'm comfortable with my swing right now and my timing is spot-on. When I'm able to see pitches and have good takes, I know that I'm comfortable up there. That leads to barreling up balls when you swing. When you're hitting balls on the nose, good things come."
The 21-year-old outfielder played his first 70 games this season with Class A Beloit, batting .278/.371/.484 with eight homers and 37 RBIs. He was the owner of nine professional home runs prior to his promotion to Stockton, where he's already hit 11. Saturday's performance boosted August line to .400/.436/.960 with nine homers and 18 RBIs in 13 games.
"Coming into this full season, my first one, I've heard stories about August," he said. "Definitely a lot of them are true, but what I've told myself the whole season, and what I really stressed coming into August, was to finish strong. I keep telling myself that every day is to keep my success and finish strong."
Still, Brugman still isn't quite ready to tout his home run trot as big league-ready.
"I've been talking to people about it, just joking around, on how you should finish, your dismount and everything, the proper way of it," he said with a laugh. "I've been trying to watch [Cal League home run leader and A's No. 2 prospect Matt] Olson and [No. 3 prospect Renato] Nunez. They have it down a lot better than I do."
Brugman's eighth-inning shot came two batters after Beau Taylor belted a three-run homer to put the Ports ahead for good in a game that saw the lead change five times.
"When you're playing on a team like this one, it's really easy to get contagious hitting," Brugman said. "I just want to give props to our team. If everyone hits, everyone's doing well. That's a big contributor to that confidence.
"This is a crucial time. This was a much-needed win. In this playoff push, it's crucial right now. The lead changes were unreal. Once we went ahead in the eighth, I thought we were going to win. Beau Taylor came up with that three-run bomb, and that's what propelled us. Crucial timing."
Brian Ragira went 3-for-4 with his third homer in two games, three RBIs and three runs scored for San Jose, which fell six games behind first-place Stockton in the North Division second-half race.