By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It has already been an impressive season for Tommy Coyle.
A Germantown Academy product and native of Chalfont up in Bucks County, the left-handed hitting Coyle is in his second season as a pro after being selected in the 16th-round of last year’s MLB draft by Tampa Bay. A second baseman, Coyle is hitting .274 here in 2013 for the Bowling Green Hot Rods of the single-A Midwest League.
“I’m definitely having a good time,” Coyle tells KYW Newsradio. “It’s definitely a learning experience. I got my feet wet a little bit last year, playing in (the) short-season league, and we ended up winning the New York-Penn League. I have the same manager (Jared Sandberg) this year so that helps a lot, playing with a lot of the same guys, so it has been a good year, and I think I’m doing well. But it’s still a learning experience and I’m trying to grind it out to the end here.”
In addition to his solid average, Coyle has scored 58 runs and knocked in 45 in 88 games. He’s flashed a little bit of power with six home runs in 317 at-bats. He is a nightmare for opposing teams on the bases with 29 steals in 33 attempts. And for someone who is just 22-years of age and in his second year of pro ball, he has shown outstanding patience at the plate. Coyle has 64 walks this season, and that has pushed his on-base percentage just short of .400.
“Definitely take pride in that,” Coyle says. “Always kind of been a patient hitter, try and work at-bats and look for the pitch that I want to hit.”
Now Tommy is not the only Coyle from Germantown Academy playing pro baseball these days. His younger brother Sean is a member of Boston’s single-A team in Salem, Virginia. Tommy says having your brother travelling the same path as you is a special thing.
“It’s definitely a huge help,” Coyle says. “I have someone to work out with, hit with and throw with in the off-season. Someone who you can talk to when you’re struggling a little bit, and he can talk to me. We keep in touch during the season, and we kind of bounce ideas off each other in the off-season. So it’s definitely a help. Someone who knows what you do wrong and what you need to work on and someone who is always there for you and knows what they’re doing.”
While his season has been impressive for the Hot Rods, Coyle says there is always room to get better.
“I’m always trying to work on my defense, just fielding ground balls and stuff like that,” Coyle says. “I’m kind of just working on my swing. Kind of was working on my mechanics a little bit this off-season, and I think that carried over some success into this season, but I’m still trying to refine that and trying to get it exactly where I want.”
Coyle had two hits and knocked in three runs in a win over Wisconsin on Thursday night. He actually won the game with a walk-off, two-run triple in the bottom of the 9th. His Hot Rods will take on the Timber Rattlers again on Friday night.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.