Brandon Belt tells manager he plans to hit for cycle, then exceeds it
As if the San Francisco Giants needed any more help (okay, every team does), Brandon Belt has had a Spring to inject even more expectation in the World Series Champions. Belt has been tearing it up in Scottsdale, batting .469 with 6 Home Runs and 16 RBI in a mere 57 at bats. He hit 7 HR all of 2012 in 400+ at bats. Belt was somewhat rushed to the majors in 2011 after two abbreviated seasons in the minors, mainly due to his complete crushing of all farmhand pitchers he faced. But it might have been too fast, as he has struggled to make consistent contact (more strikeouts than hits in his career). It all might be fitting together with the Cactus League numbers above.
But Belt’s performance today might have outdone the rest. According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Brandon makes promises to his coach before every game:
Bruce Bochy and Brandon Belt have a pregame ritual. Bochy asks what Belt is going to do that day and Belt tells his manager, “I’m going to hit for a cycle.”
And what did he do today? Fell short. Or exceeded? He hit for 11 total bases instead of 10, by clocking his second HR of the day in the last at bat when he needed the triple.
According to the same article by Schulman, Belt feels like he’s made the leap to potential all star
“I don’t think I was prepared when I went out there earlier in my career,” he said. “I swung at pitches out of the zone and took pitches in the zone. Now I’m hitting the balls I should be hitting.”
A former pitcher and position player at the University of Texas, Belt has all the tools for success. He stands at 6’5″, weighs in at 220 lean pounds, and is a plus fielder. At that size, this is about the age that most sluggers see the leap from gap power to bleacher power.
Fantasy drafters take note. You might find a steal with Mr. Belt in the middle rounds!
Follow us on Twitter @rbts_baseball