The amount of interest in Jose Tabata this season has simply been amazing. I’m fairly convinced that a post about what Tabata ate for breakfast would get 10 comments — two of them saying how troubled he is based solely on his choice of cereal — and 2,500 hits.
How can Tabata eat Boo Berry? It just shows how immature he is! Someone serious about their career would eat Cheerios!
So it’s only appropriate that our 13-part series with Trenton Thunder hitting coach Tom Wilson ends with the somewhat controversial 19-year-old, soon to be immortalized in bobblehead form.
I asked Wilson how he felt his young prospect was doing so far:
“Good. This is the first year Tabby’s ever struggled. Ever. I think at 17 years old, he hit .300. I think he’s 20 years old now (actually 19), and he’s had his first taste of failure a little bit for a while and started off slow. Being a young Latin guy that’s never played in cold weather, or never seen snow, that’s a huge adjustment for people who don’t understand that. It’s a big adjustment for a young kid. I think when it’s all said and done this year, he’s going to hit somewhere between .280 and .300. I really believe that, because he can hit. There’s just some mechanical things that he needs to clean up a little bit that were going to get exposed, and they were getting exposed here a little bit. We’ve made some corrections. I like where he is right now, and we’ve just got to keep building on what he’s done the last month.”
I then asked Wilson about Tabata’s early season struggles in pulling the ball:
“That’s something we’re working on, just to be able to work on the inside pitch. Guys were pounding him inside early here. In A-Ball, guys…they can’t do that, they can’t throw the ball where they really want to all the time. So I think you get to here and you see some guys that are able to throw in, and I think the other teams get their pitchers and catchers together and have little meetings and say, ‘Hey, this is how we’re going to attack this guy.’ And their plan for Tabby is probably that they’re going to get in on his hands. There are some teams that do a real good job of that, so we had to make some adjustments with his swing. But I like where he’s at right now, and I think he’s going to make some progress. When it’s all said and done, I think he’s going to have a solid year here.”
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com