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Daver
01-02-2003, 09:24 PM
This one is on Tim Hummel

Hummel In The Hunt

CHICAGO–Tim Hummel was once viewed as the likely successor to White Sox second baseman Ray Durham. But the 2000 second-round pick from Old Dominion slipped behind newcomers D’Angelo Jimenez and Willie Harris in the pecking order following Durham’s departure.

Hummel’s Arizona Fall League performance proved he should not be written off, however.

At the outset it appeared Hummel’s lackluster .260-4-41 summer at Triple-A Charlotte would carry over into the AFL. He hit .186 in the first half but went 19-for-46 down the stretch to finish at .303-0-7 and garner the praise of manager Razor Shines.

"He’s staying inside the ball much better," Shines said. "He went through an adjustment period early but has hit the ball extremely hard."

A fundamentally sound hitter with top-of-the-order skills, Hummel’s .372 average in his first trip to big league spring training in 2002 earned him a permanent spot in Charlotte’s middle infield. But the 24-year-old struck out 95 times–26 more than his previous season at Double-A Birmingham, where he had hit .290 in 2001.

Hummel has shifted throughout the infield during his career and shared shortstop with the Dodgers’ Eric Riggs and second with the Padres’ Jake Gautreau and Rangers prospect Jermaine Clark for the AFL champion Javelinas. Ensuring he would not fall through the cracks, he posted a .422 on-base percentage and committed only one error in 28 games. Hummel’s ratio of 18 walks to 10 strikeouts was the best in the league.

With Jose Valentin at short, Jimenez at second and Tony Graffanino and possibly Harris in utility roles, it appears unlikely Hummel will seriously compete for a job in Chicago this spring. But his tools and understanding of the game make him promising nonetheless.

"I think next year (Hummel) will be fine," farm director Bob Fontaine said. "This was a learning year for him. I think the second year back (at Triple-A) will be big for him."

hold2dibber
01-03-2003, 10:30 AM
It would be a huge boost if Hummel can get back on track and become a productive major leaguer. Assuming that D'Angelo moves to SS in '04, the Sox are left with Harris at 2B and I'm not convinced that he will ever be a decent major league hitter.