It's hard to find a hitter in the Minor Leagues who's been a tougher out recently than Class A Short Season Everett infielder Bobby Honeyman.
The Mariners prospect recorded his first professional five-hit game on Wednesday, going 5-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored, as the AquaSox topped Boise, 10-3, at Everett Memorial Stadium. He's batting .571 (20-for-35) during an eight-game hitting streak in which he's posted seven multi-hit efforts.
"I feel like I've been seeing the ball real well as of the last, like, two, three weeks," Honeyman said.
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Following a 3-for-6 night on Tuesday in Salem-Keizer, Honeyman has hits in seven straight at-bats. He worked with Everett hitting coach Eric Farris on an adjustment to his batting stance. He's squared up to the pitcher a little more, rather than employing the open stance he used, which he said has improved his ability to hit to the opposite field.
"I'm able to stay on balls longer and have a lot more success that way," Honeyman said. "I've always thought to go the opposite way -- stay middle-away -- but I was having a little trouble going that way with some authority. I was kind of slapping the ball that way, but ever since I made that adjustment, I kind of have been able to drive the ball that way."
Selected in the 29th round of this year's Draft out of Stony Brook University, the shortstop has torched the Northwest League with a .386 batting average, .936 OPS, nine extra-base hits and 14 RBIs. He set a career high with a 12-game hitting streak that began three games into his professional career.
Honeyman played well enough through his first 17 games to earn a brief stint with Class A Advanced Modesto last month. In six California League games, he was 5-for-22 (.227) with a triple and an RBI. He was reassigned to Everett on July 18, but brought back with him a sense of routine that comes with a more time as a professional.
"I really just enjoyed it. I didn't try to do too much, I just tried to fit right in," Honeyman said. "Hopefully, I can help some guys out down here. ... They're all very talented baseball players. ... The way they prepare for games up there is something that I kind of took back here and was able to implement into my pregame strategy. I feel like that's helped a lot."
On Wednesday night, the 22-year-old jumped on the first offering from starter Jeffri Ocando and lined a double to the opposite field in left. He went the other way again for a base hit in an eight-run third inning and scored on Cal Raleigh's three-run homer. He hustled out a squibbler to pitcher Miguel Ausua to begin the fourth and came home on another infield hit by Mariners No. 7 prospect Josh Stowers.
Honeyman pulled a single through the right side in the fifth and capped his night with another double in the seventh, putting it out of the reach of center fielder Luke Morgan.
"It's all consistency. I pretty much do the same thing every day -- like cage work and BP and stuff," Honeyman said. "So I pretty much just remain consistent and not change my approach. Just not trying to get too big. Just taking my hits where they come."
Stowers contributed three singles, while Ryan Garcia and Jansiel Rivera homered in the eight-run third as Everett totaled a season-high 20 hits.