Kuhn's Bat Intrigues At Several Positions
GLENDALE, Ariz.—As the White Sox look for the best defensive position for Tyler Kuhn, they're perfectly comfortable with him in the batter's box.
Kuhn, 25, received a non-roster invitation to major league spring training after batting a combined .333/.388/.446 between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte last season.
"No matter the league, he hit can hit," said Buddy Bell, vice president of player development and special assignments. "He uses the barrel. We're trying to find the position. We think he's a big leaguer. We need to find out he can play a position or positions consistently."
Kuhn, a 15th-round pick in the 2008 draft out of West Virginia, started as a shortstop but has moved around the infield and in left field. He laughed when asked what his best defensive position is.
"I really don't really know, to be honest with you," said Kuhn, a .314 hitter in four minor league seasons. "I grew up playing the middle infield. I feel pretty comfortable in the middle infield. The transition to the outfield was pretty smooth a couple of years ago when they asked me to play the outfield.
"To be honest with you, I'm really not biased toward one."
Kuhn's versatility adds value to his offensive profile as a productive lefthanded, top-of-the-order hitter. Kuhn said he fully dialed into his offensive role last year.
"My approach was a lot better," he said. "I just tried to hit line drives, get on base and do my role as a leadoff, table-setter type. That's the approach I took all year, kept working at it, and it came all together.
"In years past, I tried to muscle up on 2-0 counts and stuff like that and try to do more than my ability allows me. So this past year, I focused on that and went through every game and tried to make an impact one way or another, whether it was drawing a walk, getting a hit or moving a runner."
• After six seasons as an outfielder, Salvador Sanchez will spend his first full season as a pitcher. Sanchez, 26, was rated as the best outfield arm in the organization by Baseball America in 2009 but never advanced past Double-A.
• Nestor Molina, a 23-year-old righthander acquired from the Blue Jays in the offseason for closer Sergio Santos, impressed team officials in early spring workouts. His performance raised the possibility that he could make the Opening Day roster as a reliever, unless he's sent to the minors to gain more experience as a starting pitcher.