Baseball: “video game figures” for Charles Leblanc

MONTREAL – If I had asked him the question at the beginning of April, Charles Leblanc would have replied that he expected a good first season in the Miami Marlins organization.

That confidence was based primarily on how he had ended the previous summer with the Texas Rangers’ AAA branch. After a slow start caused by the changes he had decided to make to his momentum, he had added 30 points to his batting average in the last six weeks of the calendar and finished the year with 17 homers.

After consolidating these good feelings during the low season, spent partly under the scorching sun of Aruba and California, the resident of Laval showed up for the retreat in excellent shape.

“I could driver the ball from day one, Leblanc said Monday. Usually, it takes me about fifteen or twenty beats all the time before I find my timing. But this year, it all clicked very quickly. At that moment, I knew it was going to be okay for me this year. “

“But obviously when you look at numbers like the ones I’ve put up now… it’s kind of like video game numbers, you know? “

Leblanc is not exaggerating when he says his stats are off the charts. After six weeks with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the main team of the Marlins school, the 25-year-old slugger is one of the most menacing players in the International League. His batting average of .352 and his OPS – the sum of his base attendance average and power average – of 1,010 put him in third place among his peers, his 27 RBI in fifth. He started his season with two homers in as many games and already has seven.

“I changed my swing from A to Z”

Weaknesses? Difficult to find when a player goes through a streak of 13 consecutive games with at least one success. When it ended last Saturday against Nashville, it was the first time Leblanc hadn’t hit the track since April 15.

Beyond the shots, Leblanc simply puts the ball into play with more consistency. Victim of 131 strikeouts in just 332 appearances in 2021, he has so far reduced his wastage at the pot by 10%.

“At one point, I was talking to my roommate, a pitcher, who said to me, ‘Hey, in the bullpen the other day we were wondering when was the last time you weren’t on base?’ I took a step back and started thinking. I didn’t remember either and that helped me put everything into perspective. “

“All the athletes have a kind of” zone “in the background, as in”For the love of the game“with Kevin Costner. When you enter this zone, you don’t think about anything. The action happens and I let my skills, my senses react to what is happening in front of me. I don’t have to think And I think since the beginning of the season I have done Well Work mentally prepare myself to be able to arrive in this area a little more frequently. “

Close to the majors

More than for his numbers, Charles Leblanc also stands out for his versatility on his way to the major leagues. Since the start of the season, the former University of Pittsburgh star has been placed in each of the top four positions in the batting order. He also had to swallow his pride and go for seventh place.

“It all comes down to the mind. It’s easy to walk out onto the court and say, “I’m one of the hardest hitters heat on the team, because I’m hitting so low in the align“The reality is that you don’t decide the line-up. Often it’s not even the coach who decides! If you get distracted from this, you’re not helping yourself as a person and you’re not helping yourself to achieve your goal.

Same thing on the defensive. At the training camp, the internal coordinator came to see his new protege to find out his preferences. When Leblanc told him he didn’t have one, he insisted. He got the same answer. Since the start of the season, the Quebecer have played at third base, second base and even left the field. In the past we had also seen him in first base and shortstop.

“Can’t wait to get the call”

“That’s pretty much what has been going on since I’ve been with the Marlins. I say I’ll play where I need to. I want to be as versatile as possible. As long as there is a spot for me on the roster, I will do my best to be worthy of that trust. “

This attitude, combined with the jaw-dropping stats above, should logically earn a lure from Marlins sooner rather than later. He will then become Quebec’s second active player in major league baseball with Abraham Toro of the Seattle Mariners.

But when? On social media, supporters are impatient. Since the start of the season, the Marlins have had to deal with some injuries to home players. Erik Gonzalez, a 30-year veteran who also enjoyed himself in Jacksonville, had his chance. Joe Dunand, a pick of the organization’s second round in 2017, went on to get him. Leblanc is still waiting.

“It goes back to what I said earlier: A baseball player’s worst enemy is his ego,” he says wisely. The game it’s hard enough the way it is. If you can’t be humble when you’re doing well, what will it be like when you’re doing wrong? And then there are a lot of things the world at large doesn’t know behind callback stories. “

“Understand me well! Sure, I can’t wait to get the call and go do my business upstairs, she concludes. But I can’t control what the organization decides. “

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