Pirates Prospect Interview: Chase D'Arnaud

Chase D'Arnaud

Altoona Curve shortstop Chase D'Arnaud after a slow start at the plate picked things up in June and started off well in August, but in the last 10 games he is batting .114. It has been feast or famine for D'Arnaud who is hitting .243 with three home runs and 40 RBI. PiratesDugout.com caught up with D'Arnaud recently.

PD -- After a very slow start at the plate you have been hot and then cooled off; it has been up and down for you hasn't it?

CD -- It has definitely been different. Last year I feel the key to my season was consistency and this year I started out slow and it took me awhile to adjust to the Double a level, but now I feel like I'm getting a better grasp. Honestly I think I was just over thinking things the first couple of months and wasn't sure what to expect. Sure enough it's still baseball; every level you are at it is still baseball. Some people make the game complicated, even more complicated than it really is and at the end of the day you are still hitting the ball with a bat.

PD -- What improvements have you made and what has worked at the plate and what hasn't gone well?

CD -- Well, coming out this season, in the very beginning, I didn't really feel my swing out and I saw some footage a couple weeks ago from my Arizona Fall League at bats, when out hitting coordinator came into town, and it seemed to really help me out a lot. Right now I just feel really balanced and I feel like my swing compliments my approach right now. Which is very important...where as before I had the right approach, but my swing just wasn't complimenting. Now I feel like I am working the count and getting the ball to the right-center gap, like I should be.

PD -- When you look at the team around you in a pennant race and last year you won a pennant at Lynchburg, what is it like falling back on that experience from a year ago and what are your aspirations for this pennant race heading down the stretch?

CD -- It's real exciting. Last year I came up to Lynchburg halfway through and we were in a race and we won it. This year we are in first and we are excited and happy to be in the situation we are in. A lot of us have a feeling that it's going to come down to the wire at the end. We're just going to keep playing every day and hopefully once the playoffs start we'll take it.

PD -- When you look at your numbers the average was rising, but all the other numbers are there and the reports on your fielding are excellent. Your near the top of the Eastern League in double, runs scored and stolen bases, is it just the batting average that is down and do you feel it is coming up and people are starting to get a full look at your skills?

CD -- Yeah I think so, I think it's funny how the season ends up evening itself out. It is going to be hard to get back up to the .290 I hit last year. To be honest numbers and stuff like that I don't like to look at. The only reason I'm aware of my average is because of some of the scoreboards every game and the higher you go every park is going to have a scoreboard and it's just right there staring you in the face, but I don't think it is the most important stat to keep in mind. I think it important to look back at your at bats after a game and know that you had four or five quality at bats because if you take care of that right there then your average will take care of itself.

PD -- Do you look ahead to making it to Pittsburgh or do you try to not think that far ahead?

CD -- It would definitely be fun to play with all those other guys in Pittsburgh. I had a chance to play with them in spring training quite a bit when I was up from the minor league camp and all of them are great guys and they are all good teammates. Any opportunity to get up there would be awesome.

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