Rubi Silva seeking more balanced approach at the plate

Smokies outfielder Rubi Silva is hitting .330 against southpaws, but he is working with the Smokies' hitting staff to improve hitting righties. (Photo courtesy: Roger C. Hoover)

By: Matthew Osborne

A 15-game hit streak in July has made a Smokies outfielder one of the best hitters in the Southern League; his 108 hits ranks fifth in the Southern League.

The contrast between Rubi Silva’s number left-handed and right-handed pitchers shows an untapped potential. Against lefties, he hits .336 with 40 hits, while Silva is only hitting .267 against righties.

The Smokies’ coaching staff knows about Silva’s hitting struggles and is working with him to correct them.

“With Rubi it’s just all about his approach playing against righties,” Smokies hitting coach Desi Wilson said about Silva. “Lefties I’m not worried because you can see the numbers. He’s hitting over .300 against lefties.”

“The problem is righties. He’s sees the ball a lot sooner on lefties and the first thing he wants to do is fly open so I try to get him to understand, ‘keep your same approach as have against lefties with righties.”

Wilson has been working with Silva to go to the opposite field against righties. Wilson contributes Silva’s struggles to trying to pull the ball too much.

Silva has 108 hits this season, fifth best in the Southern League. (Photo courtesy: Roger C. Hoover)

Silva has 108 hits this season, fifth best in the Southern League. (Photo courtesy: Roger C. Hoover)

“I think with Rubi, against righties he wasn’t tentative to pull righties and the last say 10 games, he’s started to use the other side against righties, not trying to pull too much because that’s when Rubi starts to go down and he starts to try to pull righties,” Wilson said. “So I think he bought into the approach. He started using the middle of the field, the left center field gap against righties and it helped him see that ball a lot longer and he drove pitches that way.“

And in his last 10 games, Silva is hitting .324. Although he has only driven one run during that stretch, his on-base percentage is up to .309 on the season.

Smokies manager Buddy Bailey backed up his hitting coach’s diagnosis of Silva’s hassle against righties.

“When he gets fastballs in the zone, he can hit and he’s one of the best hitters in the league against left-handed pitching if you look at the numbers,” Bailey said. “When he has his struggles, when he’s not disciplined, he swings at a lot of pitches out of the zone. When he gets pitches in the zone, he’s a very dangerous and productive hitter. When he chases and goes out, like everybody else, it’s hard to make a living hitting .300 in the strike zone but when you’re going out of it, it makes it a lot harder on your percentages to get hits.”

Rubi Silva’s .288 batting average ranks sixth in the Southern League and his 112 hits is third best, but if he wants to hit that well in the National League, he will need to a more consistent at-bats against opposing hurlers.

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Categories: 2013 Smokies Feature

Author:Matthew Osborne


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  1. Cubs Minors Recap: The Javier Baez Show (video)…and Jokisch throws a no-hitter | Cubs Den - August 7, 2013

    […] 405 PAs.  He also scored twice and drove in a run.  Silva is an aggressive hitter and, curiously, he has been destroying LHPs, unusual in that he's a LH hitter himself.  He faced a good one today in Andrew Heaney and it […]

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