In a game of adjustments, C.J. Chatham has found a way to master that art.Boston's No. 8 prospect notched two doubles and two singles Thursday on the heels of a three-hit night in Class A Advanced Salem's 3-0 loss to Frederick at Haley Toyota Field.
In a game of adjustments, C.J. Chatham has found a way to master that art.
Boston's No. 8 prospect notched two doubles and two singles Thursday on the heels of a three-hit night in Class A Advanced Salem's 3-0 loss to Frederick at Haley Toyota Field.
A day after notching his 11th three-hit game of the season, Chatham notched his first career four-hit contest. Keeping pace with the Carolina League's challenges, he's gotten more acclimated every game.
"The pitch selection has been good," he said. "It's something they've talked about to me all year, I have to see more pitches and it's starting to click. I'm not trying to do too much, that's really all it's been."
Chatham lined his 11th double of the season to left field off a fastball by Cristian Alvarado in the first inning, before grounding a single to left off the right-hander in the fourth.
Gameday box score
The 23-year-old went to left again for another two-bagger on an Alvarado fastball in the sixth and was stranded at third after advancing on a flyout. In his last appearance in the eighth against lefty reliever Alex Katz, he grounded a single to left on a fastball.
Chatham considers pulling all four hits to be a testament to the approach that's been working for him all season.
"I'm realizing they like to come in and out," the right-handed hitter said. "Wherever they're throwing it, I'm staying through it and taking it where they're giving it to me. Today, they came in a lot."
Chatham was called up to Salem on May 8 after hitting .307 with Class A Greenville and found a groove at the plate right away. He's hovered around the .300 mark, but has found an even better stride with six multi-hit games in August.
"Pitchers have better stuff here. It takes a little bit to get used to the consistency of just better breaking balls and fastballs," he said. "Like anything, the more you play it, the more you adjust to it. Luckily for me, I figured out how to click early and I think I didn't really have to change much of anything. It's just how it's been for me."
Chatham went 0-for-4 on Aug. 17 and 18, but has rebounded strongly since the rough two games.
"The pitch selection is still something to figure out," he said. "It can come and go sometimes. I think once I get that figured out, my bat-to-ball contact has been there all year. If I can stay inside the zone, I think I can put up some serious numbers."
The 2016 second-rounder also feels his power is about to emerge. Presently he has just three home runs on the season.
"The power is there," Chatham said. "I know it's there. ... My swing is kind of recently having some top spin. I know it's a minor adjustment to where those top spins can become back spins and leave the yard easily. That's what I have to figure out in the offseason, but for now, I'm going to try to just keep hitting it hard."
Wilson Garcia homered, doubled twice and scored two times and Jomar Reyes belted a two-run blast in the sixth for the Keys.
Alvarado (11-10) scattered seven hits and one walk over 6 2/3 innings for the win and Tyler Erwin picked up his 17th save, one off the Carolina League, with a hitless ninth.
Marisa Ingemi is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi.