Skip to main content

Dugan Enjoying Success, Focused on Future

Injuries and setbacks have prevented former Phillies top draft choice Kelly Dugan from becoming a highly regarded prospect for the organization in recent years. Dealing with hamstring problems, a severe ankle sprain and a troublesome staph infection has held the 6-foot-3-inch 195-pounder down, somewhat, in his pro career. Moving forward, though, Dugan is focused on taking strides and making an impact at as many levels of baseball as he possibly can.

The 21-year-old has posted remarkable numbers over the second half of this season for Class A Lakewood. Sporting a .324 average with six home runs and 37 RBI in 64 games since the South Atlantic League All-Star break, entering action on Wednesday, has helped the young outfielder and occasional first baseman to finally show why he was regarded so highly three years ago, when the Phillies selected him in the second round of the MLB amateur draft.

Avoiding injury setbacks is key for all players, but Dugan's level of confidence has spiked this year after getting past the ailments that previously kept him from going full bore on the field of play. Kelly, son of Hollywood heavyweight director Dennis Dugan (Big Daddy, Happy Gilmore), has shown considerable improvements this season and the steps in the right direction can be attributed to not needing to hold back physically.

"When I feel healthy, I think things are more consistent, while not having to battle through anything. I know the game's not always played at 100%, but when you are feeling closer to 100%, physically, I think that helps (the mental side). Now, I got my legs under me and I can run, so I think that's helped with the confidence for me, being able to do that and run a little more and feel stronger in my lower body," Dugan said.

Additionally, the physical ailments limited Dugan's defensive range, which left him manning first base instead of chasing down fly balls in the outfield, where he is more comfortable and became an All-Star in the New York-Penn League last season for the short season A level Williamsport Crosscutters. Back in the outfield in recent months, Dugan has been more relaxed and able to focus on hitting.

A refined approach at the plate has delivered some solid results for Dugan as well and it was all his own doing. Faced with the occasional struggles involved with developing an ability to switch-hit, Dugan made the call to discontinue his efforts from the right side and chose to focus solely on being a lefty batter. The results are evident, as his splits (.297/.379/.496 vs. righties, .290/.391/.421 vs. lefties) display a considerably even amount of success.

"I decided that I didn't want to switch hit last year, and I decided I'd give myself an opportunity to just hit left-handed," Dugan explained. "I felt like I could hit left-handed pitching better left-handed, if I gave myself a chance. The (Phillies) wanted me to give switch-hitting an opportunity and I did that and I made the decision (to stop) and I think it was a good decision.

"I know switch-hitting has its advantages, but I feel like if I can keep hitting the way I am hitting from one side, then it's an easier craft to practice...and work on everything from one side."

It's clear that the Encino, California native is now back to where he and the Phillies feel he belongs, among a group of prospects that are on the rise and worthy of being talked about in the future plans of the big league club. Dugan is pleased to have made an impact this year and is excited about what is forthcoming.

"I'm happy with the way things have gone this season. I think things can continue to improve and I'm just glad that the team is playing better in the second half. Overall, it's been a pretty good year and I look definitely forward to what's next."

_____________________________________________________

You can follow PhoulBallz on Twitter by clicking HERE.

Also connect with PhoulBallz on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

2022 Top Phillies Prospects Countdown: #13 OF Ethan Wilson

Taken with the Phillies' second round draft pick (49th overall) last year, outfielder Ethan Wilson has landed among the top prospects in the organization. A co-freshman of the year in 2019, with South Alabama, Wilson has been on the radar of some big league teams for quite a while.  In his junior season last year, Wilson batted .313 with seven home runs and 30 RBI.  When his collegiate season was through, the lefty hitter quickly debuted in the minors.   In 30 games with Class A Clearwater last year, Wilson tallied a .215 average with three homers, 17 RBI and two steals. Listed at six-foot-one, 210-pounds, Wilson opened the 2022 campaign with Class A Advanced Jersey Shore.  The 22-year-old has been slow to start offensively, but confidence and poise are not a problem for this strong, promising individual. On the base paths, Wilson is quick and can contribute with his feet.  Defensively, the Alabama native will likely play left or right field moving forward.  Possessing an ability t

Who is Your Favorite Willie 'Mays' Hayes?

PhoulBallz.com is wondering which individual who has portrayed Willie "Mays" Hayes is the favorite of the public. Hayes, of course, is the character made famous in the Major League motion picture series. In Major League , Willie "Mays" Hayes was portrayed by budding Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes, who would go on to action movie superstardom. Snipes has starred in major motion pictures like the Blade trilogy, Passenger 57 , Undisputed and many more. Snipes remains an impact Hollywood actor, despite legal troubles related to income tax evasion. Snipes was replaced for the sequel, Major League II when his busy career, and possibly the film's budget, would not allow him to return, by Omar Epps. Another budding actor, Epps had previously worked with director David S. Ward, on the film The Program , and landed the role of Hayes, who had become a Hollywood action star over the off-season that occured between the two films. Epps' career portraying athletes rolle

Prospect Nation 2012: #1 RHP Trevor May

With a massively impressive campaign in 2011 for the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers, right-handed starting pitcher Trevor May locked down his spot as Philadelphia's top prospect and is on the fast track toward the big leagues. He is the reigning Paul Owens Award winner, given to the top pitcher and player in the Phillies' developmental system each year. In 27 starts with the Threshers in 2011, May posted a 10-8 record with a 3.63 ERA, while striking out a Florida State League leading 208 batters in 151 1/3 innings. He also held opposing hitters to a .221 average. The Phillies' 4th round draft pick from 2008, May earned the win in the 50th annual Florida State League All-Star Game at Bright House Field last year. He also was twice named FSL Pitcher of the Week and earned Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Month honors for June. After signing with Philadelphia, May helped lead the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies to a championship in 2008. In 5 regular