Stepping into the batter’s box and seeing a “big ol’ number” on the scoreboard denoting a batting average that is average can be tough, Adam Haseley said.
Stay the course.
The former University of Virginia standout learned that last year in his first full season in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. Haseley got off to a slow start then, too, and rebounded to hit .305 in Class A and Class AA.
“Guys get in trouble when they start panicking and trying to do stuff they’ve never done before,” he said. “A lot of things can happen over five months.”
Haseley, considered one of the Phillies top prospects, came to The Diamond on Wednesday batting .246 for the Reading Fightin Phils. Continuing an upward trend, he hiked that to .260 after collecting three hits and two RBIs to back a stellar effort from left-hander David Parkinson (Mills Godwin High) in a 9-1 victory that ended the Richmond Flying Squirrels’ three-game winning streak.
The left-handed hitting Haseley was batting .250 on May 11 last year before a sustained ascent. He was at .200 on May 5 this season. In his past 14 games, he’s hitting at a .353 clip (18 for 51) with three homers and nine RBIs.
“If the last couple of weeks were like the first two or three, maybe we’d be thinking about trying something else, diving into some video or something like that,” Haseley said. “I feel like I’m hitting the ball well, especially the last couple of weeks. I’m just trying to approach every game the same way.”
Haseley, 23, was a standout at UVA as an outfielder and left-handed pitcher. Philadelphia drafted him as an outfielder in the first round (eighth overall) in 2017. He’s one of three first-round picks — Cornelius Randolph (10th overall in 2015, .219, 4 homers, 16 RBIs) and Mickey Moniak (1st overall in 2016, .255-3-21) — in Reading’s outfield.
While his average is coming up, Haseley’s power numbers are up this season. He had 11 homers, 55 RBIs, 17 doubles and five triples in 118 games last season.
He’s got six homers, 17 RBIs and seven doubles in 35 games this year.
“A lot of it is all these guys throw so hard, you don’t really have to go up there and swing 110 percent,” he said. “Just being aware of that, taking advantage of some counts where you can take that risk, it works out.”
Haseley spent time during the offseason working on his approach to different hitting situations — with two strikes or maybe a breaking ball he was expecting early in a count.
“I think it’s true for most guys that [the average] doesn’t tell the whole story,” he said. “We’ve got a guy, [Austin Listi], who hit [.312] last year. I think he’s hit more balls right at people, balls that haven’t fallen, than anyone else.
“Sometimes it’s hard to go through that and still see that big ol’ number on the scoreboard. You’re thinking about that. But it’s May. It’s still early. I’m just trying to stick with it.”
Parkinson (4-2) stuck it to the Squirrels for the second time at The Diamond. He struck out nine in six innings, allowing one run, five hits and three walks while lowering his ERA to 3.35.
In a 5-2 win on April 23 at The Diamond, Parkinson allowed two runs, five hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out three.
Richmond starter Garrett Williams walked the first two hitters of the game before Haseley’s RBI single. He threw 33 pitches in the first inning and exited with two outs in the second after allowing five hits and two walks and hitting a batter. Squirrels pitchers surrendered 12 hits and eight walks.