Current Kane County Cougars 3B Jeimer Candelario is hungry for improvement. The Cubs signed Jeimer Candelario out of the Dominican Republic in 2011 for 1.6 MM dollars and ever since he has been impressing people all over the organization with his advanced approach from both sides of the plate, as he switch-hits. Today I was impressed with his awareness of the game and his situation.
After the Cougars had a game taken right out of their paws on a 9th inning walkoff for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, Candelario took to Twitter to speak about the game. He was clearly upset, but decided to focus on the bright side: His batting average is on the rise after a slow start. Candelario’s season average is under .250 – but don’t let that fool you, the kid can hit.
“I’m coming out of my slump. I’m going hard. Up to .248 now,” said Candelario. Far too often do young players fall into the psychosis of a slump and stop believing in themselves but confidence seems like it will not be a problem for Jeimer: “Coach told me ‘You’ll be in the MLB in two years. Don’t worry. You’ll be hitting fourth here until the season’s over.’”
In fact, Candelario is so confident in his abilities that he’s set a goal for himself. “I want to be in the top 10 prospect list this year.” However, for that to happen, his power stroke has to develop a little more. “They asked me in an interview why I’m not hitting any homers. I told them I’m not worried about hitting homeruns, I’m just worried about my average. When I get up to maybe .285 I’ll start hitting those homeruns.”
When told he was leading the league in doubles with 15, Candelario laughed. The 19-year-old is one of the youngest players in the Midwestern League.