By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Boston Red Sox Double-A squad, the Portland Sea Dogs, wrapped up a weekend series in Trenton yesterday with a 6-4 loss to the Thunder. The series marked a return to the area for Germantown Academy product Sean Coyle.
The 22-year-old Coyle was a third round pick of the Red Sox in the 2010 MLB Draft. He missed a few weeks this season with a strained hamstring and a hand injury, but since coming back from the disabled list on May 23rd he has been red hot, going 16-37 (.432).
“Feeling pretty good,” Coyle tells KYW Newsradio. “My timing seems to be clicking, did a lot of work to kind of maintain that timing when I was trying to get healthy and it has kind of paid dividends.”
Listen To Podcast With Sean Coyle:
Overall this season, his first in Double-A, the right-handed hitting Coyle has a .362 average in 28 games, with 3 home runs and 16 RBI. He says he’s pretty pleased with his progress so far as a pro.
“Definitely,” Coyle says. “I’ve dealt with a few more injuries than I would have liked to, but that’s all part of the game, it’s all part of being a professional athlete. It’s all about being able to deal with the hardships and how you handle those, and if you can make adjustments and stay on the field and play to your best ability.”
Coyle’s manager at Portland is former Phillies outfielder Billy McMillion (the man acquired from Florida when Darren Daulton was traded back in 1997) and he likes what he sees in the young infielder.
“He’s a hitter,” McMillon says. “I like his approach. It’s evolving, it’s changing, it’s maturing as he’s growing into being a baseball player. His defense isn’t bad either. He’s a fun kid to watch. Exciting on the base paths and especially at the plate. Brings a lot of thump in his bat.”
Listen To Podcast With Manager Billy McMillion:
Coyle had only played second base in his pro career until this season, when the organization decided to see what he could do at third base.
“There’s a growing curve that we’re working with, with him,” McMillon says. “See improvements daily. I think he’s getting a little bit more confident playing at third base. Obviously, second base is where he’s most secure, but showing that he can play third base is going to help him in the long run.”
While Sean is moving through the Red Sox system, his older brother Tommy, also a Germantown Academy product, is working his way up the ladder Tampa Bay Rays system. He’s currently an infielder with Tampa’s High-A squad in Charlotte.
“I talked to him a little bit the other day,” Sean Coyle says. “Having somebody that’s going through the same kind of thing is something that’s special, unique about our family. It’s pretty cool to be able to pick his brain or have him come to me with any questions or advice that he may need. It’s pretty cool.”
Coyle talks about his focus these days.
“As far as offensively, I’m really working on just being consistent,” Coyle says. “Working on keeping my timing. Just keep on developing my swing. And in the field, I’m kind of new to playing third base. So just getting reps in over there and getting some game action has been pretty good. I think I’m coming along pretty well over there.”
And he is also enjoying the ride as a pro baseball player.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Coyle says. “Especially with the group of guys we have here. We have some characters in our clubhouse, it keeps everything light, keeps everybody having fun and that’s really important when you’re playing a season that’s as long as we play.”
Coyle and the Sea Dogs open a series with Erie on Tuesday up in Maine.
You can follow Matt on twitter @mattleonkyw.