PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jimmy Yezzo was a standout baseball player at Bishop Eustace Prep in South Jersey. Then at the University of Delaware he emerged as one of the top hitters in the nation. He was selected in the 7th round of 2013 MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals and this year is playing every day for Washington’s Single-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League, the Hagerstown (MD) Suns.
“Things are going well,” Yezzo tells KYW Newsradio. “First (full) year of pro ball, about halfway through now. Last year was an adjustment to pro ball and this year has been a little bit of an adjustment to playing everyday for this length of time. But it’s going well so far.”
Yezzo is hitting .249 in 70 games this season for the Suns with 6 home runs and 30 RBI.
“Focus is mostly just staying in the strike zone,” Yezzo says. “Kind of laying off those ‘pitcher’s pitches’ and swinging at things I can handle and not getting myself out.”
Yezzo, a first baseman, says he is also working to get better with his glove.
“Been doing a lot of work defensively,” Yezzo says. “Early work and stuff during (batting practice). Defense is probably the thing for me that has improved the most up until this point.”
In his final season at Delaware in 2013, Yezzo hit .410 and he says his time with the Blue Hens really helped him get ready for the grind of pro baseball.
“A lot of it prepared me,” Yezzo says. “Going through the Delaware season, then into summer ball and back into Delaware that kind of gave me a little bit of a taste of how long you can play in a row without really having a break. Coach (Jim) Sherman there, he played pro ball, so he talked with me a little bit. Our pitching coach, Coach (Brian) Walker, played pro ball as well. So they kind of sat down with a couple of us who were looking to get drafted and talked with us about what it’s going to be like and what we had to do to make it there and stay here. It was very helpful.”
Yezzo and the rest of the Hagerstown Suns host Delmarva on Monday night.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.