Missoula's Yerzy continues hot stretch at plate

D-backs' No. 16 prospect extends hitting streak to seven games

Andy Yerzy has scored all eight of his runs this season over the last five games. (Jared Ravich/MiLB.com)

By Andrew Battifarano / MiLB.com | July 15, 2017 2:52 AM ET

Working with Rookie-level Missoula assistant coach Rick Short, Andy Yerzy figured out how to utilize the lower half of his body to generate better and more frequent contact.

The slight tweaks in his swing are quickly paying dividends for the D-backs' No. 16 prospect.

Yerzy collected three hits, scored three runs and plated one in the Osprey's 12-7 win over Ogden on Friday at Lindquist Field. The 2016 second-round pick had two doubles and a single to extend his hitting streak to seven games and he's driven in a run in five straight. 

Gameday box score

"Over the last week, I've just found myself in a good position to hit," the native of Ontario, Canada, said. "I've got myself into good counts and found good pitches to hit."

After going hitless in four at-bats against Great Falls on July 4, Yerzy's batting average sagged to .178. During his hitting streak, the 19-year-old has gone 12-for-32 to raise his average 82 points to .260. He's also driven in 18 runs, good for second on the team behind Eduardo Diaz.

"When I was going through my streak where I wasn't hitting, it's easy to get down on yourself," the catching prospect said. "But you go to the park every day and you see your name in the lineup, you'll get at least three at-bats and you're going to get opportunities to get three hits.

"Rick Short talked about it. I was really stiff before, so I tried loosening up a bit, unlocking my knees. Again, I've found good pitches and now I'm just hitting them." 

Taking advantage of a defense that was shifting him to pull in the first inning, the lefty-swinging Yerzy slapped a fastball between short and third for an RBI single. In the third, he smoked an 0-1 pitch for a double to straightaway center. 

"I got a first-pitch fastball that I fouled straight back," he said. "I was on it pretty good. I had an idea that he was trying to throw a curveball and try to get me off-balance. He hung one over the plate and I just kind of reacted."

With the wind kicking up in the fourth, Yerzy lofted a pop fly that carried down the left-field line and fell in for a double. 

"It was pretty crazy actually because the pitch before, I swung at the 2-0 and I could've sworn I hit a fly ball to center field," he said. "I took off and take a peek and the ball's by the dugout.

"Again, I got a fastball up and I put an OK swing on it and they shifted me and it kind of went into no-man's land." 

Yerzy struck out each of his last three times up, but wasn't discouraged.

"My goal is every day to put up good at-bats," he said. "It's crazy how I can be 3-for-3 with two doubles and then in my next three go 0-for-3 with three K's. Things happen, I got a few I could handle that I missed and I got myself out. I'll probably play again in the next couple of days, get more at-bats and just go from there." 

MiLB include

Francis Martinez amassed three hits and four RBIs, while Joel Novas and Ernie De La Trinidad added three hits apiece as each player in the Missoula lineup collected at least one base knock. 

"It's awesome that you have five or six guys hitting behind you that will drive you in if you get on base," Yerzy said. "And if you don't get the job done, they'll pick you up. Our team is starting to mesh pretty well." 

Nick Yarnall had three hits, including a double, and  Moises Perez and  Romer Cuadrado  delivered two hits and an RBI apiece for Ogden.

Andrew Battifarano is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter, @AndrewAtBatt. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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