MWL notes: D-backs' Trahan happy to move

South Bend outfielder embraces position change, spring promotion

Stryker Trahan has 11 RBIs in 12 games for South Bend this season. (Rikki Carlson/Silver Hawks)

By Curt Rallo / Special to | April 18, 2014 10:30 AM ET

Stryker Trahan noticed it with his throws. Then, he felt it in his legs.

And when catching was starting to take away from Trahan's offense, the Arizona Diamondbacks had a solution for their 2012 first-round pick: a move to the outfield.

Trahan, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound left-handed hitter, was the 26th overall selection in 2012 out of Acadiana High School in Scott, La. He hit .254 with 10 homers and 33 RBIs in 59 games with Missoula of the Pioneer League last season.

D-backs director of player development Mike Bell decided to move Trahan to left field to give the No. 11-ranked prospect a fresh start.

"Mike Bell brought me to his office and told me about the position change in Spring Training," Trahan said. "At first, I thought it was a joke. Then, he was talking about it more and more, and I realized he was serious.

"I'm on board with it. I like the idea. I was always a fast guy in high school. Catching kind of -- not really slowed me down -- but it wore out my legs. I really like to run. The first few days, I really got into playing outfield. I was hooked. I really like it a lot."

Trahan said that the preparation is most challenging for him.

"With catching, the day-to-day schedule is set out for you," Trahan said. "In the outfield, you're kind of on your own. You have to make up your own routine and find what you're comfortable with. I'm still trying to get used to want I want to do."

D-backs coaches and outfield veterans worked with Trahan to get him adjusted to playing the outfield. He worked on how to play line drives, how to get a read on the ball and situational outfielding.

"They changed my arm angle, which was a huge deal for me," Trahan said. "I was used to being short and quick, instead of being long and getting more power out of my throws."

Trahan said that he worked out in the outfield at a couple of showcases before he was drafted. He said that he's learning the position quickly, and believes that it will speed up his development.

"My legs definitely feel a lot better," said Trahan, who has hit .212 with two homers and 11 RBIs for Class A South Bend this year. "I'm still struggling hitting the ball. I've yet to find that routine that gets me in the groove and gets me feeling comfortable. Catching, you're used to seeing pitches all of the time, whether it's your pitcher or theirs. Everything is completely different."

In brief

Transition time: Lance Roenicke knows the demands of coaching in professional baseball and he's embracing it by being a player-coach for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

"I'm still learning how to use the fungo and to get my arm in batting practice shape," Roenicke joked. "That's been a struggle.

"They're longer days, but they're good days," Roenicke said of staying in condition and also coaching. "I'm learning about the coaching side of things. It's been interesting, and I've enjoyed it. It's been fun learning how that side of baseball works with different things and deals with different things."

Roenicke is the son of Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. He played college ball at UC Santa Barbara before being drafted by the Brewers in the 25th round in 2012. Roenicke played portions of the 2012 and 2013 seasons with the Timber Rattlers.

Although he hasn't played yet this season, Roenicke is ready when the Timber Rattlers need him. He works with the outfielders and is crafting his own style as a coach with the uniqueness of also being a player.

"I'm kind of in an in-between area," Roenicke said. "With some things, players might be more comfortable coming to me with, because just a couple of weeks ago, I was a player. The players see me as a coach but see that I'm newly transitioning into this role and that I have a fresh mind as far as playing and how to go about things."

Rough start: Bowling Green won its first two games of the season, and then lost a franchise-record 10 in a row. The 10th loss in the losing streak was a gut-wrencher. The Hot Rods snapped a 22 1/3-inning scoreless streak and had a 2-1 lead going into the ninth inning, but Kane County scored five runs in the ninth and went on to score a 6-2 victory on Wednesday.

Diamond notes: Great Lakes rallied from a 5-2 deficit for a 7-6 victory against Beloit on Wednesday. The Loons used late homers by Alex Santana and Jacob Scavuzzo, and then won the game in the 10th inning, with Malcolm Holland singling home Santana with the lead run. Great Lakes stole a team-record seven bases in the game, led by Scavuzzo's three thefts. The Loons were 14-of-14 stealing bases in the three-game series. ... At 29, Fort Wayne TinCaps manager Michael Collins is the youngest manager in the full-season Minor Leagues. ... Dayton ended an 18-inning scoreless streak Wednesday against Peoria in a 4-1 victory.

Curt Rallo is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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