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Daver
04-29-2002, 08:49 PM
White Sox will find Hummel-dinger of a hitter an infield spot somewhere

By Tim Pearrell
April 29, 2002



RICHMOND–Tim Hummel arrived at the White Sox’ spring training camp and asked, "Where should I go?"

Shortstop? Second base? Maybe even third base?

Opinions seem divided. In less than two years, the White Sox have moved him from short to third to second and now back to short.

The only thing everyone can agree on is that Hummel, who was off to a slow start at .222-1-4 for Charlotte, will play somewhere in the big leagues because of his bat.

"If I’m projecting him, I see him as an everyday second baseman at the big league level," said Charlotte manager Nick Capra, who had Hummel last season at Double-A Birmingham. "Down the road, maybe he’s playing third base if he develops a little more power. And he could play shortstop. He may not be an everyday shortstop, but he’s not going to hurt you over there."

In the Knights’ first 16 games, Hummel had played 15 at short and one at second, mainly because of the presence of offseason acquisition Willie Harris at second. Harris, acquired from the Orioles in the Chris Singleton trade, is similarly versatile, giving Capra a lot of options with his lineup.

Looking into the future for the White Sox, Hummel could provide an answer if the organization decides not to re-sign Ray Durham when his contract expires after the season.

For now, though, Hummel is just looking to get in a full season of Triple-A at-bats, continue his offensive development and find a defensive home.

Memorable Monarch

Hummel, 23, is a native of Montgomery, N.Y, and was drafted out of high school by the Padres in the fifth round in 1997. He decided not to sign because he wanted to fulfill his college commitment to Old Dominion.

In three years as the Monarchs’ shortstop, Hummel hit a combined .388-20-185 and set the career on-base percentage (.508) record for the Colonial Athletic Association. As a junior he was the conference player of the year and an All-America shortstop after hitting .408-8-68.

The White Sox made him a second-round pick in the 2000 draft, and he quickly established himself as one of the organization’s top prospects. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder had a .302 average and a .380 on-base percentage in 200 minor league games coming into the season.

Hummel came to the organization as a polished hitter, with a good swing and the ability to use the whole field. So the organization has not been afraid to push him, sending him to the Arizona Fall League after last season and to Triple-A to start this year.

"Everything’s been coming so fast," Hummel said. "It seems like once I get to a level and I start to figure it out, I get moved up, and then I’ve got to figure that level out. But I’ll take this pace anytime."

Wherever He’s Needed

Hummel hit .290-7-63 at Birmingham last year. He tied for second in the Southern League in hits (152), tied for third in doubles (33), tied for fifth in triples (six) and was eighth in batting.

In the AFL, he hit just .250 but had an on-base percentage of .352, illustrating his selective approach.

"He’s going to hit," Capra said. "He’s a real intelligent kid. He knows the game. He’s got a game plan, and for the most part, he executes it. He just lacks experience. Defensively, he needs a little polish. Offensively, he’s at a little higher level."

Hummel played short and third base after signing with the White Sox. He was moved to second base halfway through last season, then split time between the positions in the Arizona Fall League.

Capra says Hummel has an average arm and range at short but makes up for it with his positioning.

"We’ll get him a little bit more experience there and see what we get," Capra said. "That’ll add to his portfolio. The more positions he can play, the more valuable he’ll be."

Playing shortstop used to be Hummel’s preference. Now he just wants to play whatever position gets him established in the big leagues.

"I think of myself as a middle infielder right now," he said, "but I do think I can become a shortstop."

Chisox_cali
04-29-2002, 09:19 PM
Man I can not wait for this kid to make it to the big show! Hopefully we wont have to wait long to see him in the black pinstripes :smile:

http://www.ncaabaseball.com/pix/bbo/bbc/2000/05/26/bbcodurobertson0526ncaa.jpg
"Oh Yeah!"

Jerry_Manuel
04-30-2002, 07:03 AM
Originally posted by Chisox_cali
Man I can not wait for this kid to make it to the big show! Hopefully we wont have to wait long to see him in the black pinstripes :smile:


Wee Willy at 2nd, and Big Bad Tim at Short. :smile:

Chisox_cali
04-30-2002, 02:40 PM
Originally posted by Jerry_Manuel


Wee Willy at 2nd, and Big Bad Tim at Short. :smile:

I think Big Bad Ass Tim sounds better :D: