Analysis

Gift Ngoepe is Starting to Learn His Identity at the Plate

Gift Ngoepe's offense is the only thing keeping him back from the majors. Photo Credit: David Hague
Gift Ngoepe is Starting to Learn His Identity at the Plate

INDIANAPOLIS -- Gift Ngoepe hit a home run in the season opener, but in an odd way that could have been an ominous sign.

He’s not a power hitter. Ngoepe has enough power to hit home runs on occasion, but in the past that has gotten him in trouble because he starts swinging for them more frequently. The average drops. The strikeouts rise. The productivity falls. That’s not the type of hitter Ngoepe needs to be in order to reach his future potential. And that’s not the hitter he has been so far this season.

Ngoepe is hitting .263, opened the season with a six-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in eight of 10 games. That follows a spring training when he hit .429 in 42 at-bats over 21 games.

This is a stark difference from last season when Ngoepe hit .217. His ineffectiv...

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