MANCHESTER — Logan Warmoth’s tenure with Double-A New Hampshire is just over a month old and already he’s been given a significant role in the Fisher Cats’ offense.
Through Tuesday, the No. 22 overall pick in the 2017 MLB draft had appeared in 32 games since being promoted on June 14, and 18 of those games featured him batting out of the clean up spot.
It can be pretty rare for the new guy to be thrust into such an important role so soon, but Warmoth’s track record with Class-A Dunedin led the coaches to believe it was something he could handle. In 36 games with Dunedin, he hit .292 with three home runs, seven doubles and 16 RBIs.
“I think he’s just a contact guy,” hitting coach Donnie Murphy said. “I think with the way Mordy (Mike Mordecai) works, he wants on-base guys near the top of the order and contact guys in the middle just to kind of move guys around and drive them in. I think that definitely played into it.”
Warmoth has responded by hitting .237 whenever his name is listed fourth in the batting order; all eight of his RBIs have come while hitting in that spot. His overall average sits at .217, but is dragged down by poor splits against left-handed pitching (.086 in 35 at-bats). Conversely, Warmoth is hitting .282 (20-for-71) against righties, but Murphy isn’t reading too much into that.
“I think it’s just random,” Murphy said. “I think it’s just a smaller sample size and he’s facing more righties than lefties right now. Lefties probably just seem a little more foreign to him, so it’s just getting used to seeing more lefties as he goes and I think the numbers will even out a bit.”
Right now Warmoth is just focused on making sure his swing is sound no matter who is on the mound. After hitting .247 in 21 games before the All-Star break, he’s found himself in a bit of a rut since the season reconvened, posting a .193 average over an 11-game span.
That comes with the territory. It’s a new level where the pitchers are more talented and can take better advantage of weaknesses hitters might show. Warmoth is working to iron out any issues.
“I’m learning a lot,” he said. “Just doing my best to make the adjustments that I can and being ready to be able to go out there and compete every day. Donnie’s been great. He saw some adjustments that I needed to make to be successful at this level and to be successful later on.”
Warmoth, to his credit, knows that won’t happen overnight, saying that it can take weeks for minor tweaks to a swing to take full effect. In the meantime, he’s picking up other things along the way. Just two years removed from being drafted, he’s kind of been on a fast track to the Double-A level.
“Yes and no,” he said when asked if his advancement has gone by fast. “Repeating Dunedin (to start the season) kind of slowed it down. I skipped low A and went to Dunedin and repeating it slowed it up and I think that was the right move. I don’t feel like it was a whirlwind because I feel like I’ve been ready for this, but I also had to make sure I matched up well at the High-A level before getting ahead of myself. So, I wouldn’t say it’s gone by fast, but it’s been a jump for sure.”