When a hitter tries to add some power to his game, one of the tradeoffs will almost inevitably be fewer singles over the long run.
Caleb Ramsey has gone through that a little bit this season. On Wednesday, he got back a few of his missing hits.
The Nationals outfield prospect went 5-for-6, with a double, four RBIs and three runs scored as Class A Advanced Potomac held on for a 13-11 victory over Carolina.
"Yesterday, I was pretty locked in, really felt good. Our hitting coach, Mark Harris, helped me get out there and get back in the groove. My swing was right, hands in one spot, and I was able to carry that over into today," Ramsey said. "Put good swings on good pitches and a couple of them happened to fall in the right place."
Ramsey's first career five-hit night brought his average up to .281 in 58 games. He also has a .325 on-base percentage and .400 slugging percentage.
The quest to add more pop, he said, has necessitated some adjustments. After the 2011 11th-round Draft pick hit seven homers and 17 doubles in 127 games with Class A Hagerstown last year, he already has five longballs and 10 doubles in 58 games this year.
"I'm really trying to focus on hitting for some more power, being a corner outfielder," Ramsey said. "I've worked a lot on that and maybe lost a couple hits, putting less balls in play, but I think in the long run I'll start driving the ball more. I feel a lot more power in my swings, more consistently.
"A lot of the work in the offseason was about really getting after that, staying behind the ball. I've always been a good contact hitter, so I had to teach myself that if I get fooled on pitches early in the count, to foul them off or swing through them. Stay behind, take good pitches to swing at."
The University of Houston product also feels he's been making pretty good progress.
"It's coming along good. I have five [home runs] right now and there's been a lot more balls that I've hit into the gaps where I could easily have a couple more," he said. "Harris, our manager, Brian Daubach, I can just kind of pick their brains and work with them every day. It's just about picking the right pitches in the right counts to take advantage of."
Hitting one spot in front of Ramsey, leadoff man Billy Burns went 4-for-6 with three runs scored to get his average up to .311 in 54 games. He and Ramsey combined for nine hits, six runs scored and four RBIs.
"Every time you look up, it's like Billy's on base," Ramsey said. "It's really good, especially early in the game, because I'm one to look at a lot of pitches and get a read on the pitcher. So with him up, I'm seeing everything the pitcher has in the first at-bat."
Joe Wendle contributed two doubles and four RBIs for the Mudcats, with Jerrud Sabourin going 3-for-4 with a pair of walks and three RBIs.