There is no question about it, low Class A Greensboro can swing it.
With hitters like outfielders John Raynor, Scott Cousins, Greg Burns and now second baseman Chris Coghlan getting in on the act, the Grasshoppers have little problem scoring runs.
â€œThe kid can really hit,â€ a National League scout said of Coghlan, who batted .262 in April but turned it up to .344 this month. â€œHeâ€™s got a great approach and doesnâ€™t try to do too much. Thereâ€™s some leverage there. This guyâ€™s going to hit for some power.â€
Greensboro ranks third in the South Atlantic League in runs scored with 266 and Coghlan and Burns have combined for 63 of those. Those totals are likely to go up with the speedy Burns hitting leadoff with Coghlan in the No. 2 hole.
â€œOffensively, his swing path isnâ€™t too bad,â€ the scout said of Burns. â€œHe just has some trouble repeating it consistency. I like the barrel awareness, but sometimes I think he gets caught up in trying to make his swing look too pretty.â€
The two hitters set the tone in Greensboroâ€™s 4-1 win against Kannapolis on Friday. Both players homered and drove in three of the Grasshoppers four runs. On the season, Burns is hitting .299/.377/.408 in 147 at-bats while Coghlan is hitting .305/.406/.529 with six homers and 43 RBIs in 174 at-bats.
Burns batted just .231/.307/.333 and struck out 109 times last year for the Grasshoppers, but there is reason for optimism as the 2004 third-round pick went through his first full season in 2006 as a 19-year-old.
â€œHeâ€™s lean, but heâ€™s got the build to be a Cliff Floyd-type monster body,â€ Marlins hitting coordinator John Mallee said. â€œThe ball comes off his bat great, he had a great last two months here last season. We pushed him a little bit, and he still needs to learn the strike zone.
â€œHe struck out a lot last year and a lot of that is because he doesnâ€™t get in a good hitting position and heâ€™s a little late getting the stride foot down and getting into that position.
“As a result, heâ€™ll chase pitches out of the zone or heâ€™ll take pitches he should hit because his body freezes and shuts down because heâ€™s not ready to hit. Heâ€™s gotten a lot better with that, heâ€™s got power, he can run and heâ€™s an excellent center fielder.â€
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