Diamondbacks Organization Report
Stalled No Longer
PHOENIX--Jamie D'Antona refined his batting approach in his second season in the Southern League in 2006, and he was taking his hitting exploits to a new level early this year.
D'Antona was known as one of the "Three Amigos" while spending his first two pro seasons with Conor Jackson and Carlos Quentin after they were the Diamondbacks' top three picks in 2003. But while Jackson and Quentin have ascended to the big leagues, D'Antona stalled in Double-A.
Adding versatility in the field and showing great production at the plate, however, D'Antona was only a level away from joining the other two while re-establishing his credentials with a strong start at Triple-A Tucson.
D'Antona had 12 hits in his first 15 at-bats for the Sidewinders this season and was hitting .403/.495/.610 with nine doubles overall. He led the PCL in batting, doubles and on-base plus slugging percentage (1.366).
"His bat has always been his strength," farm director A. J. Hinch said. "He's accepting the challenge here. You can hit your way to the big leagues."
D'Antona, a second-round pick as a third baseman out of Wake Forest, made the most of an early opportunity at regular time this season when infielder Brian Barden made the big league club out of spring training.
D'Antona, 24, led the short-season Northwest League with 15 home runs in 2003, and followed that by batting .315/.353/.531 in a half-season at high Class A Lancaster in 2004. He finished the 2004 season in Double-A, then spent the whole 2005 season there, and he struggled with the bat.
He rebounded last year to hit .310/ .382/.484 in a return to Double-A Tennessee, making the Southern League's midseason and postseason all-star teams.
"He got a little less free-swinging and a little more selective, and his power played better," Hinch said. "He got into a good routine and he adapted well to the league the second time through."SNAKE BITES
• Righthander Matt Green, a second-round pick in the 2005 draft, pitched five hitless innings for Arizona's new Double-A Mobile affiliate to improve to 2-0, 1.20. He had 19 strikeouts in his first 15 innings while giving up seven hits.
• Lefthander Brett Anderson, a second-round pick last June out of Stillwater (Okla.) High, was off to a strong pro start. Anderson was 2-1, 1.02 in his first three starts, with low Class A South Bend's only victories in a 2-10 start. Anderson had 22 strikeouts in 18 innings.