One of the most exciting parts of the minor league season is when the new draft picks begin to play. Last year, Trent Giambrone from Delta State burst onto the scene with the Eugene Emeralds. He played all four infield positions and hit .292 with four home runs and 22 RBI in 51 games. His .404 on base percentage exemplified his approach at the plate. Heading into 2017, I was excited to see how he would do in full season ball. When word came that he was going to skip South Bend and head to Myrtle Beach, I was not surprised.
Everything has not gone according to plan in 2017. However, things are looking up.
In April, Trent hit .256 with two home runs and eight RBI and an OBP of only .305. May was pretty much a disaster. He struggled to the tune of a .183 average, and he only hit one homer with six RBI and his OBP floundered at .238. Still, Manager Buddy Bailey kept sticking with him daily.
In June, it looks as though he has figured it out. For the month, he hit .320 with six home runs and 10 RBI. Over his last 10 games, he’s batting .359 with three homers, seven RBIs, and an OBP over .400. I had the opportunity to talk to Giambrone about his daily regimen, approach, and how he goes about his job.
The Daily Job of Being a Hitter
Giambrone credits his success in June to staying within himself. He said,
“It all comes down to the routine. My first swings are never on the field. When I get to the field, I like to go through my tee routines and get my flips in. During batting practice, I really try to focus on driving through the ball and not really play home run derby. Some days you want to let it loose. But you got to work on being a good hitter before you can worry about power numbers. So I just try and focus on being a good hitter and work my game plan and get a feel what I’m going to do that night. My approach will be for that night for that pitcher. That way I can have a feel for that going into the game.”
The Big June Numbers
For someone who is 5’8″, Giambrone is a big player. Most of home runs are no doubters. He doesn’t plan for that to happen. He said:
“This month I finally feel like I get my feet underneath me. I am sticking to my game plan and not trying to impress anybody but just being myself. I feel like it helped me out a lot. I am good at what I do, and I need to stick to that. I also realize that I am going to need to know how I’m going to be attacked that night. Depending on who is on the mound bump.”
In the minor league, they don’t get as many scouting reports as they do in the majors. However, Giambrone does use video and relies on the hitting coach—who has notes on most of the pitchers in the Carolina League.
His success in June is more about his process and staying within himself. He likes to do with the coach asks him to do. Giambrone added,
“Some adjustments I try to make on a daily basis, but I try to stay true to what I do. I could hit the ball out of the park, but that’s not what this team needs to me to do. Our manager’s been very clear. He believes in what I need to do to help this team win. By saying that, I feel like this month I’ve stayed true to myself, stayed true to my approach, and I didn’t really worry about hitting the long ball. At the same time, you’re going to get results that you weren’t trying to.”
Heading into July, Giambrone has been reunited with Eugene teammate, Zack Short. The duo were key elements of last year’s title run at Eugene. With a playoff spot already in hand for Myrtle Beach, Giambrone is back playing second base (his normal position) after playing shortstop most of the spring and early summer. I expect that will also pay big dividends. I am excited to see how his daily approach of just being “Trent” will continue to pay off the rest of this summer.
Lead photo by Larry Kave—Myrtle Beach Pelicans