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Long-Awaited Emergence

MONTREAL–Josh McKinley may be finally living up to his lofty draft status.

Selected by the Expos 11th overall in 1998, McKinley’s game has been developing slowly. The Expos say this could be the year he emerges as a bona fide prospect.

"McKinley has been outstanding," farm director Adam Wogan said. "He really had to step it up this year, and so far he’s shown that he can get it done."

McKinley, 23, worked extensively in the offseason and during spring training with minor league hitting coordinator Frank Cacciatore. So far, the results have been impressive. The new-look McKinley has excelled at the plate, batting .318-5-25 in 85 at-bats with Double-A Harrisburg. He walked 21 times while striking out 13 times.

"There were not any major overhauls mechanically; it’s been more a matter of confidence and approach," Wogan said. "He’s always had a good swing and shown projectable power right up from the time he was an amateur. It’s simply a matter of adding some strength, continuing to hit the ball hard and refining his game plan."

Drafted as a switch-hitting shortstop, McKinley has been a nomad on the diamond in an attempt to find a position. After bouncing between short and third, McKinley moved to second base this spring. The organization has been pleased with his play, despite his 10 errors in 26 games.

"Defensively he has been fine," Wogan said. "He has recognized that there is work to be done defensively and has shown improvement. He is making throws far more aggressively now, and his range has improved. He’s really done a good job, but there is no doubt he needs to continue to improve that area."

Exposes

• Harrisburg righthander Seung Song tossed a no-hitter against Erie using 119 pitches. He walked just two and struck out four and allowed an unearned run in the ninth inning. Song was 2-0, 2.08 after his first five starts.

• The Expos moved righthander Ignacio Puello into the bullpen at high Class A Brevard County. Puello was inconsistent with his velocity as a starter, throwing 92-95 mph one inning and 88-89 the next. Wogan hopes the move will allow Puello to be aggressive on the mound every time out.

• Previous organization report: Rogerarvin Bernadina

 
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