The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

August 2, 2013

Simoneaux drives Dans past Gems

Danville's 40th victory equals the Prospect League record.

(Continued)

But, with those expectations that he has put on himself, it had a little bit of a negative effect in the first few weeks.

Simoneaux had just eight hits in the first 49 at-bats, as he was hitting just .163.

With some help from his coaches and a message from a teammate, Simoneaux is batting .280 since June 24th with 3 home runs and 25 RBIs.

“I’ve changed a lot,’’ he said. “I used to get down on myself a lot. The coaches have worked with me, along with my teammate Josh Miller.

“Josh has helped me out a lot. He told me to listen to Steve Springer and I try to listen to one of his messages every night before I go to sleep.’’

Steve Springer’s Web site gives baseball players pointers on the mental approach to the game, especially hitting.

“His main message is that batting average is the devil,’’ Simoneaux said. “You can square balls up in every at-bat and still go 0-for-4. There are eight defensive players out there trying to defend you and you are just one batter.

“So, I don’t worry too much about my batting average anymore.’’

Instead, he has focused on getting quality at-bats in each plate appearance and his average has climbed 81 points to .244 because of it.

“Chet is a powerful human being,’’ Watson said. “He was in a little bit of slump at the start of the year. But, he has really come around and he has come up big for us. He is a good baseball player, a good teammate and a good guy to be around.

“It’s always good to see good things happen to good people like that.’’

Watson admitted that just looking at the statistics is a mistake when dealing with Simoneaux.

“He has the tools,’’ Watson said. “If he continues to get better, the sky is the limit for him.

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