Hudson Valley, NY — Hudson Valley infielder Darryl George gave the team a boost at a crucial point.
In his final games, he stayed consistent, giving the playoff-hopeful Renegades a shot.
In what was a must-win that the team lost, George’s skill set, and what the Australian native needs to improve, were showcased.
There’s a lot to like about his short swing. He makes hard contact, with good gap-to-gap power. That showed up in several games.
In a September game, with Ariel Soriano hitting in front of him, George reached on an error in the first, but later knocked the ball through the gap for a single. George has an excellent ability to find the holes, putting solid contact and a bit of power on balls up the middle.
Later in that same game, he worked a 2-1 count, collecting another single. This time he hit the the ball toward the third base side, through the gap. He saw the ball well, laying off pitches that came up and in on him. When a ball was left belt high, he jumped on it for a single.
A late July game garnered similar results, when he singled, then stole a base. A sacrifice fly allowed him to score from second. In the third, he worked a walk. George made that kind of consistent, meaningful contribution in August.
To end August, his best month offensively, he got seven hits in five games, with twenty seven overall that month. In twenty six games, he did also strike out twenty three times, and worked nine walks. He’s second on the team in walks with twenty three.
He’s a smart base runner, with average speed on the bases. He’s not a big threat to steal, with just nine successful attempts this season, though he was also never caught. Never lazy out there, he kept alert when a pitcher threw over to first multiple times.
George, signed as a non-drafted Free Agent in 2010, has been all over the place on the field with his glove. He has the ability to play first, third, short, and in right field, and was actually signed as a pitcher. He played thirty-two games at shortstop this year, despite the expectation in baseball that he would likely get the bulk of his time at third. A positional dilemma within an organization can make it tougher for a prospect to develop and advance, so hopefully the Rays utilize him properly. In the September game, he made a costly error, but later made a quick move to cover second. He led the team in errors (15, 13 at short), so his comfort at the position has to increase, or they need to move him back to first or third to start next season. With his arm, and experience (93 for his pro career), third makes the most sense.
George doesn’t have much power, but could develop a bit more in the next couple of years. It’s his ability to put the ball in play, with a compact, uncomplicated swing that makes him valuable. When he hits the ball on the the ground, he makes it difficult for infielders to get to. His patient, simple approach allows him to draw walks, and his baseball intelligence and work ethic for the process are noted. Those attributes factor in, and should even more, as he continues his development.
He’s not the player with the most talent or tools, but what he has, he works hard with. Also impressive about his solid finish was lack of fatigue. Many players tire by the end of their first Short-A season, but he showed no signs. He played fifty nine games, a career high.
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