Rockies' Simon Goes On Power Kick At Instructs
DENVER—The Rockies don't name a most valuable player during their instructional league program. But if they did, the honor likely would have gone to outfielder Jared Simon.
"This guy really implemented all the things that we wanted him to work on and achieved those goals," hitting coordinator Jim Johnson said. "He worked hard. He had really great results. He was our poster child for instructional league."
Simon, a sixth-round pick in 2010 out of Tampa, needed a jump-start after two mediocre summers at short-season Tri-City. He hit .226/.304/.291 with one homer and 19 RBIs in 234 at-bats last summer, then returned this year and hit .243/.323/.360 in 239 at-bats with five homers and 34 RBIs.
Simon, 22, made headway in instructional league in two areas. He was more aggressive against fastballs, and thanks to a mechanical change he showed power in games after previously showing it only in batting practice.
A leg kick brought out Simon's power, so soon after he implemented it Johnson called Simon "a leg-kick guy waiting to happen." By transferring his weight to his back side, Johnson said Simon gathered himself more and created more hip coil. The result was more power, as Simon hit two home runs and drove balls into the gaps and off the walls.
Prior to those adjustments, Johnson said that Simon was too particular and took a lot of pitches, including 3-1 and 2-0 fastballs.
"Instead of being passive, we want him to be more aggressive in fastball counts, hitting more fastballs early in the count," Johnson said. "He did that all instructional league. He became much more aggressive, hitting more fastballs early in the count. He wasn't getting deep or upside down in counts."
Simon is a solid defender with one of the strongest outfield arms in the system.
• His career as a third baseman ended by a back condition, Darin Holcomb attended the two-week scout school in Phoenix conducted by the Major League Scouting Bureau. He also plans to finish his degree in sports management and promotion.
• The Rockies sent outfielder Eliezer Mesa to the Athletics to complete the June 30 deal for second baseman Mark Ellis. Mesa missed most of April and May with a wrist injury and hit .256/.320/.311 with 11 stolen bases this season for high Class A Modesto.