Kingston Liniak has a knack for tracking.With swift speed, the Class A Short Season Connecticut Tigers outfielder prides himself on being able to track down anything hit to his quadrant of the field.He has also begun tracking his at-bats, looking to maintain more consistent contact to the opposite side of
Kingston Liniak has a knack for tracking.
With swift speed, the Class A Short Season Connecticut Tigers outfielder prides himself on being able to track down anything hit to his quadrant of the field.
He has also begun tracking his at-bats, looking to maintain more consistent contact to the opposite side of the field, which has been working well through his first 11 New York-Penn League games.
"My main goal this year is to mentally be prepared all nine innings," the 30th-ranked Detroit prospect explained. "On the physical side, my goal is to hit most of the balls hard the other way. I have kept a log in my phone about how many hard-hit balls I have the other way. I want it to be more than 60% of my balls in play -- I want them to be hard line drives the other way.
Of his first 11 hits on the season, the right-handed hitting Liniak has put five to the left side, two up the middle and four to the right.
"It's looking good. I'm pulling a lot of balls. I'm still trying," he said with a slight chuckle.
While things continue to progress in the intended direction at the plate, it's been status quo on the defensive end. Primarily a center fielder, Liniak has been clean on the first 33 chances hit in his direction at all three outfield positions, something he strives to continue throughout the season.
"If I'm going to play center field, right field or left field, I'm going to put forth my best effort to give my pitcher a safety," said the 2018 fourth-rounder. "If a ball is going to be hit out there, I'm probably going to track it down. My goal this year is to not make any errors in the outfield whatsoever. You shouldn't. If it's a fly ball or a ground ball, you should be able to keep it in front."
A natural speedster, Liniak feels like he should get every ball hit his way and works diligently during batting practice at trying to see the ball off the bat better and getting better jumps.
"It all comes down to if you're willing to slide, dive, do what you need to do to try and get the ball," he said.
At 19 years old, the Mission Hills (California) High School standout is settling into his first full season as a professional ballplayer.
He is building a mental balance in having to play every day of the week, finding ways to put aside bad at-bats quickly and conserve energy and health throughout the course of the campaign.
"It's a big change going from only playing a couple of days a week in high school," Liniak said. "Even in the [Gulf Coast League] and extended [spring camp]. you get a couple of days off. Seven days a week is a little bit tougher, but I love it. I love being out on the ballfield every single day, taking BP, getting ready for a game and going out there at 7 o'clock every night. It's a great job."
Like most everything else with Liniak, that tracks.
In briefMan on a mission:
Through Sunday's games, Tri-City's AJ Lee
sat in a three-way tie (with Batavia's J.D. Orr and Hudson Valley's K.V. Edwards) atop the league leaders in stolen bases with nine, but he was the only one of the trio to have done it in nine total attempts. In addition to the swipes, the middle infielder leads the Valley Cats in hits (T-16), doubles (5), runs (11), total bases (21) and on-base percentage (.403). Lee, who was drafted out of Maryland in the 34th round in June, hit .286 in 11 games in his debut month and is hitting the same through six games in July.Monster showing:
Vermont third baseman Jordan Diaz
provided some fireworks with his first four-hit game on the Fourth of July. Oakland's No. 26 prospect is pacing the league with 26 hits through 23 games. The 18-year-old native of Colombia leads the Lake Monsters with 17 RBIs, tying him for second in the league. Diaz also leads the team with three home runs, but has just two walks on the year, going 19 games between free passes. Right now:
On the strength of three straight strong outings, Hudson Valley hurler Edisson Gonzalez
jumped into the league lead with a 14.7 strikeout-per-nine- ratio. After striking out five batters in his first two efforts of the season for the Renegades, the 19-year-old Panamanian fanned 26 over 15 innings his last three times out. In his last start, the right-hander struck out a career-high 10 batters, allowing two hits over six scoreless innings.
Craig Forde is a contributor to MiLB.com.