They say the waiting is the hardest part. Jake Skole has decided that one way to improve is to eliminate the wait.
The Rangers prospect went 4-for-4 with a pair of homer and three RBIs and extended his on-base streak to nine at-bats Friday, leading the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to a 10-2 romp over the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
Skole fell a triple shy of the cycle and scored four runs. He doubled in the second inning, hit a solo homer in the fourth, singled in a run in the sixth and went yard again with the bases empty in the seventh. He walked in his final trip to the plate in the eighth.
"I just got some good pitches to hit early and tried to be aggressive and not get too deep in the counts," said Skole, the 15th overall pick in the 2010 Draft.
Skole has not been retired in his last two games, going 7-for-7 with a pair of walks, four extra-base hits and five RBIs. He credits the success to a change in his approach at the plate.
"I've been hitting a lot with two strikes, and our hitting coach has been pressing for me to be aggressive," Skole said. "It might not be the perfect pitch to hit, but you have to do something with it. It finally clicked tonight."
"One of our hitter coordinators, Brian Dayett, has been in town and he's thrown a few different things at me to help me see the ball better and get quicker to the ball and stay balanced throughout my swing."
The recent surge has raised the 20-year-old center fielder's average to .216. In 39 Carolina League games, he's hit three homers, driven in 13 runs and scored 14 times. The struggles have been frustrating at times for the Georgia native, but the Minor League staff the Rangers have assembled has helped him through it.
"It's tough, personally," Skole said. "Everyone wants to be hitting .300, but they put a team around us with a couple of older guys like Jared Hoying and Josh Richmond, and I can relate to them; they've struggled at a young age.
"The coaching staff hasn't been pressing me, it's been mellow. It's been a pretty easy struggle -- if there is such a thing."
Nick Tepesch, who hurled 7 2/3 no-hit innings on May 19, improved to 3-3 after limiting Wilmington to two runs on five hits over 6 2/3 frames.