'Relaxed' Seymour clutch for Grasshoppers

Marlins' No. 13 prospect plates winning run with fourth hit of night

Anfernee Seymour ranks second in the South Atlantic League with 24 stolen bases. (Ken Inness/MiLB.com)

By Michael Avallone / Special to MiLB.com | June 15, 2016 1:08 AM

Anfernee Seymour said he prides himself on his joy for the game and not letting any moment overwhelm him. He found himself in a big moment on Tuesday night and, true to form, came through.

Seymour's second double and fourth hit of the game drove in the winning run in the 14th inning as Class A Greensboro rallied for a 6-5 win over Asheville at NewBridge Bank Park

It was the second four-hit effort in six games for the 20-year-old shortstop, who's batting.432 with seven stolen bases, seven runs scored and three RBIs in his last 10 contests. 

"In those situations, I just try and be as relaxed and calm as I can be," Seymour said. "They're fun to be a part of. I love going out there every day and competing. Every pitch, every at-bat, every ground ball, it doesn't matter. I just love going out and playing."

The Bahamas native has had his share of fun recently. After hitting .170 in April, he's torched South Atlantic League pitching to the tune of a .330 average. The six-week hot streak has brought his average up to a season-high .273.

"I've just listened to my manager [Kevin Randel]," he said. "He's told me to not worry about the outcome, trust the process and it'll come. It's a long season, so you just have to battle, try and have good at-bats and stick with your approach. I also recently read an article that said, 'Don't worry about the outcome, just worry about the feeling.' So I'm just focusing on that and not worrying about what happens with the results. Even though things started out rough, it seems to be working for me overall."

Seymour sandwiched bunt singles in the first and eighth innings around a strikeout in the third and a groundout to short in the sixth. The switch-hitter doubled to left field but was stranded in the 10th and struck out in the 12th. After Asheville took the lead in the top of the 14th, Devin Burke retired the first two Grasshoppers in the bottom half. Aaron Blanton homered to left-center to tie the game and Casey Soltis worked an eight-pitch walk. Seymour fell behind, 0-2, but got the count even before slashing his second double of the night to left to plated Soltis with the winning run.

His average in late-and-close situations improved to .375.

"I was looking for something up to try and get it into the gap," he said. "I know that Casey is pretty fast, so if I could get something out there, I knew he'd score. It was actually a low-and-away curveball and I went down and got it." 

Seymour played in a career-high 64 games last summer with Class A Short Season Batavia. So he said he prepared himself mentally and physically during the offseason for his first year in full-season ball with Greensboro. He's three games from matching his total from all of 2016.

"I worked hard in the offseason to prepare myself as best I could," he said. "Plus, Kevin is good with knowing when we may need a break or when to back off on some of the extra work we do. Just to let our bodies rest and recuperate a little longer." 

Marlins' No. 29 prospect Justin Twine also collected four hits, including a solo homer, for Greensboro. Giovanny Alfonzo (1-0) picked up the win, despite allowing a run on two hits and a walk in the 14th.

Rockies No. 22 prospect Carlos Herrera homered, tripled, singled and scored twice for the Tourists, who took the lead in the 14th on Terry McClure's RBI single.

Burke (0-2) surrendered two runs on two hits and a walk after retiring the first two batters in the bottom of the 14th. 

Michael Avallone is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MavalloneMiLB This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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