Monday, May 19, 2014

Pullin striving to improve his game in Lakewood

Andrew Pullin, Image- Jay Floyd
For Class A Lakewood BlueClaws second baseman Andrew Pullin a determined grind has helped turn around a season that started out in regrettable fashion.

Pullin, the Phillies' 5th round pick from two years ago, began his 2014 campaign with a .205 batting average with a homer and two RBI through his first 21 games.  Since then, the six-foot 180-pounder has tallied a .292 average while mashing three home runs and knocking in 11 runs in 18 contests.

Asked to explain the strides that he has taken at the plate, the lefty hitting Pullin offers an admission that he wasn't being selective enough in the early going this season.

"I had a slow start. I was chasing a lot of pitches out of the zone.  I've just been working on looking for good pitches to hit," Pullin said shyly.

His manager, Greg Legg, credits Pullin's hard work with the turnaround on offense.

"He's in the cage with (hitting coach Lino Connell) all the time, working on things and we're trying to get his bat and hands into a position to take a good pass at the ball, keeping it simple.  But, his own hard work more than anything has been the reason," Legg asserted with pride.

Pullin has an excellent track record when it comes to making adjustments as a pro.  Tasked with changing positions late in the Gulf Coast League season the year he was drafted, Pullin strived to adapt and looks as though he's been playing second base for several years.

According to Pullin a familiar name was responsible for his positional switch.

"I was drafted as an outfielder and Pat Gillick thought I could make the transition to the infield, so with about two weeks left in the GCL that year, I made the switch to the infield and I've played second base since," Pullin explained.

The Washington state native was in touch with Gillick, the Phillies' former general manager and current team special advisor, a considerable amount prior to being drafted and it came as no surprise that Pullin was selected by the Phillies in 2012.

The modest Pullin credits former Phillies infield coordinator and current field coordinator Doug Mansolino with guiding his adjustment period to the infield.  The youngster's skipper cites Pullin's own efforts with where he is defensively.

"Anything he does, you're not going to try to get him to work, he just does it and any time you work at something as hard as he does, you're going to get better at it," Legg stated.

The outstanding efforts continued for Pullin on Sunday, as he laced a double and a team-lead tying (four) home run while driving in three runs to pace the BlueClaws in their 8-3 romp of the Rome Braves.

Lakewood's homestand will wrap up with two more contests against Rome on Monday and Tuesday evening, with each game slated for a 6:35 PM first pitch.

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