Rising star Nelson Velazquez boasts of ‘dazzling’ long stays in big companies

Philadelphia — Shortly after Cubs player Nelson Velazquez was called up in late May, he made the focus of his new coaches.

“I wanted to stay a little bit in the middle of the field,” he told the Sun Times this month. “Use that much of the field.”

Hitting coach Greg Brown was very pleased.

“He had the mentality of, ‘I want to start building this now, so two [or] Three years from now, that’s really the basis of who I am,” Brown told the Sun Times. “That for me is great.”

Despite his newfound focus, Velazquez did not lose his power. He showed up on Friday against Phillies with the first multi-income game of his young career.

Offseason additions like right-hander Marcus Stroman, who carried the Phillies in one round in six runs in the Cubs’ 6-2, 10-run win on Saturday, and defensive tackle Seiya Suzuki, who posted a four-stroke Friday. They will always have the opportunity to demonstrate the impact they can have on this club as it eventually moves out of the rebuilding phase.

However, the Cubs’ injury-strewn record 37-57 has provided an opportunity for young talents like Velazquez and Christopher Morell, who has quickly established himself as an everyday player, to prove and develop what they can do in the big league. Under the supervision of the league staff.

If the Cubs swap any defensive players before the August 2 deadline, Velasquez will be in a position to grab more playing time. With inconsistent strokes, he entered Saturday’s play in italic .231/.275/.492.

For Velazquez, the key to sending the ball the other way lies in his lower body. Sometimes he can drive really hard from his back foot, which opens his hips too early and makes him pull the ball – or pull it.

“Be a little easier with my lower body,” Velasquez said. “You feel more relaxed.”

While his focus is on his legs, Velazquez must also be aware of his hands. Sometimes he’ll get too dominant with his front hand, and Brown will remind him to stay across the ball with both hands.

Velasquez recorded only 65 major league hits coming into play on Saturday, but he sent 41.5% of hits down the middle and 19.5% in the opposite direction, according to Statcast.

His second home run on Friday, which made him one of two Cubs (with Thad Bosley in 1985) since at least 1901 to succeed Homer twice on the bench, was a side pulling powerhouse with a center player on the hill in ninth. But he crushed his first one in the middle as a pinch hit on the eighth.

“The thing that stood out in that [first] in bats [Friday] ‘Was the start hard,’ said director David Ross. “It looked like he was looking for his timing. . . . His swings and timing improved very quickly, which was encouraging.”

Velasquez had fouled off three outside courts before, on the seventh pitch from Pat-Pat, Velez left-hander Jogo Romero gave him a quick ball up and in. He kept his hands inside the field and led her over the central field fence.

“[Pinch-hitting] “It’s a tough job and usually reserved for a lot of seasoned men,” Ross said. ‘But we’ve been using him more and more to get in and get some of those speculators. He’s had some real hits.’

On Saturday, Velasquez entered the match again as an eighth-placed hitter. This time, show patience by drawing a walk. Then he drove around in the five-stroke cubs race.



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