Vogelbach mounts home run assault

Cubs prospect goes yard for seventh time in last five games

By Jonathan Raymond / Special to MLB.com | August 10, 2012 11:06 PM ET

Homer-happy doesn't really begin to describe what Daniel Vogelbach's been doing lately.

The Cubs' No. 14 prospect recorded his second two-homer game in a row and his fifth straight with at least one longball Friday night as short-season Boise outslugged Everett, 11-8.

Vogelbach went 3-for-4 with five RBIs and has seven homers during his streak.

The 2011 third-round Draft pick said there isn't any one key to his power surge, attributing it to a laid-back approach that keeps him grounded and relaxed at the plate.

"I've just been trying to be patient at the plate, get good pitches, not chase any and let the ball come to me," he said. "Recently, I've been slowing it down and letting the game come to me. It's felt pretty good, but most of all we're starting to win, and that means to the most to me. It's a good streak right now. Hopefully, we keep it going."

Vogelbach's tear has carried across two levels in the Cubs system since leaving extended spring training at the end of June. In 24 games in the Rookie-level Arizona League, he batted .324 with seven homers, a .391 on-base percentage and .686 slugging percentage.

The 19-year-old first baseman was promoted to the Northwest League at the end of July, and it's mostly been the same story, In 16 games with the Hawks, he's hitting .381 with a league-leading eight homers, 20 RBIs, a .443 OBP and .841 slugging mark.

According to the Fort Myers, Fla.-area high school product, it took a lot of personal development to get to this point.

"I started off slow in extended [spring training] and kind of came out of there with a chip on my shoulder, to prove I belonged," he said. "I think that I came a long way. I was really frustrated in extended, not myself, and I knew it. Instead of fixing it, I just got more and more frustrated.

"And then once the season started, I went back to the old me and it's all coming back the way I want it to."

Overall this year, Vogelbach is hitting .345 with a .411 OBP and .745 slugging percentage in 40 games. He has more extra-base hits (34) than strikeouts (29), drawing 19 walks for good measure.

That kind of rounded profile is what he's looking for.

"I try to pride myself on being a complete hitter, not just a power hitter," he said. "I want to hit for average, limit strikeouts as much as I can, get walks, see pitches and get in hitter's counts. If I do that, the homers will come. I don't want to be that guy that hits 30 homers and hits .220."

Jeimer Candelario backed up Vogelbach on Friday with three hits, including a pair of doubles, two RBIs and three runs scored. Marco Hernandez homered and drove in two runs for Boise, which has won six of its last seven games.

Jonathan Raymond is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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