November 29, 2016
One of the best stories of 2016 was the return of catching prospect Max Pentecost from shoulder surgery.
Pentecost, who missed the entire 2015 season, entered camp with a lot of question marks about how effective his bat would be after a long hiatus from the game. The prospect quickly silenced his critics by posting a solid .314/.375/.490 slash line in 239 at-bats with low-A Lansing.
While Pentecost put up decent numbers all year in Lansing; the prospect feels he really turned a page during the second half of the Lugnuts’ season.
“Everything progressed well after the all-star break,” explained Pentecost. “I don’t know why, I just had a better approach overall. I was getting ahead in counts more often, I had a good mental approach every at-bat, and my swing felt good.”
His solid approach earned Pentecost a late season promotion to the high-A Dunedin Blue Jays. Recording 12 hits, which included: two doubles, and three home runs in his 42 at-bats with the D-Jays was a great way for the prospect to wrap up his year.
Impressed with the advancements that Pentecost has made to his offensive game during the 2016 season. Lansing Lugnuts hitting coach Donnie Murphy is positive that the up-and-coming star is on the right path with his career.
“Max Pentecost has come a long ways,” stated Murphy. “Max has dealt with a lot of injuries and adversity, but I’m really happy with where he’s at right now. I can guarantee that Max is happy with where he is at right now as well.”
While, Pentecost sharpened his approach last season, one of his major focuses for 2017 will be getting behind the plate again.
Only catching side sessions in the bullpen in 2016; Pentecost admits that his shoulder felt good during every catching opportunity he had since spring training.
“My shoulder felt fine during the side sessions,” said Pentecost. “I never had a problem with that at anytime. It’s just a matter of getting over the hump, getting the distance down, and increasing velocity.”
Even though his return to the defensive side of the game hasn’t been officially setup by the organization just yet; Pentecost will definitely be ready when the day comes, as he’s happy with the game plan laid out by the Blue Jays management.
“There’s no set date on when I’ll be catching in games again,” explained Pentecost. “The main focus was getting more at-bats in 2016. We’re just taking it slow, and I’m enjoying just being out there hitting.”
Toronto Blue Jays fans will definitely be excited to see Max Pentecost excelling at both sides of the game again in the near future.