It's difficult to imagine a better start to a career than the one Adam Haseley is off to through 11 games. So much so that Class A Short Season Williamsport hitting coach Tyler Henson has given the University of Virginia product space to be his own player.
"He's very easy, very low-maintenance," Henson said. "We interact here and there and I kind of let him go, just knowing after watching him and seeing how he goes about his business, he does everything the right way."
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The eighth overall selection in this year's Draft bashed his first professional homer and added a pair of singles on Friday in the Crosscutters' 7-3 victory over Mahoning Valley at BB&T Ballpark. In 11 games since the Phillies picked him, Haseley has recorded multiple hits nine times, including three three-hit efforts.
"Really, he's hitting everything. He competes every at-bat," Henson said. "He came from a bigger school … so he's really advanced in approach and plan at the plate and it shows every night. I don't think I've seen him waste one at-bat since he's been here."
The 21-year-old initially was assigned to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, where he lasted only three games before earning a promotion to the New York-Penn League. Haseley is hitting .500 in 42 at-bats across both levels with five extra-base hits and eight RBIs.
"I think he just knows who he is as a hitter. He doesn't do any more than he needs to," Henson said. "When guys start to understand that, then they can really get in the box and compete."
With two outs in the first inning, the Florida native swung at the first offering from right-hander Grant Hockin and bounced back to the Scrappers starter. Haseley got deep in the count in his next at-bat and lined a base hit to left field to follow Josh Stephen's one-out double in the third.
"I think his two-strike approach has been off-the-charts good. He's got a lot of two-strike hits and he just doesn't try to do too much in those situations," the 29-year-old coach said. "He has shown the aggressive side as well. He jumped out early in counts and drove the ball really well."
Hockin fanned the next batter, Jake Scheiner, and Haseley was thrown out trying to steal second by catcher Gian Paul. The Golden Spikes Award finalist has been successful on only half of his eight stolen base attempts as a pro.
After working the count full again to start the sixth against Kirk McCarty, Haseley slapped another single to left and later scored on Malvin Matos' sacrifice fly. The Scrappers strung together two runs against Ping-Hsueh Chen in the seventh before Haseley caught hold of a 1-1 slider and sent it over the fence in left-center in the bottom of the inning.
"He's taken some shots early in the count and tried to drive the ball. He's missed some of those pitches, but then he kind of dials back and settles back into who he is," Henson said. "Already having two hits and in a situation to drive in some runs he kind of let it go and he didn't miss it tonight. I think there is some power there.
"With more ABs, especially with the wood bat, it'll start to show."
Stephen doubled twice, drove in two runs and scored another, while Jhailyn Ortiz contributed a two-run homer and a single for Williamsport.