Brandon Bednar's bat has been a noticeable asset during minor league baseball's opening month. The Giants' Class-A affiliate Augusta GreenJackets have benefited from Bednar's 30 April hits — as well as his versatility on the infield. Having played all infield positions except shortstop, the Florida Gulf Coast University product's first five weeks playing for a full-season squad have been exemplary.
David Lee, GreenJackets beat reporter for the Augusta Chronicle, called Bednar "one of the more pure hitters in the Augusta lineup," noting a good approach at the plate and an ability to stay inside the ball.
Here's Lee's full scouting report on Bednar:
"Brandon Bednar is one of the more pure hitters in the Augusta lineup. The hit tool currently has above-average potential. He gets good wood on the ball pretty often, and he shows an approach at the plate despite the lack of walks. He stays inside the ball well and can spray it with a little authority.
Bednar's body has the room to add some muscle, but I don't think he's going to add much at this point. He'll likely remain thin. He's quick and has some lateral range for his height and feet, but his body spells corner profile. I haven't seen him up the middle to say this for sure, though. His swing isn't geared for power, but his hit tool will allow for consistent gap power with the occasional over the fence shot.
Bednar should hit at this level, and he's doing a pretty good job so far. He's aggressive at the plate, but he isn't fooled that often, and he can cover the plate pretty well. I wouldn't be surprised to see him become a corner bench bat. I think he has the bat for the upper levels, but I need to see more of his defense."
Having played second base pretty well in Salem-Keizer, it seems strange that Bednar, with a third baseman (Ryder Jones) and a shortstop (Christian Arroyo) would be playing third base primarily. It's especially perplexing when noting that Jones has already committed 13 errors at shortstop.
Either way, his flexibility will come in benefit a team at any level. He's made three errors this season — one in 21 games at third base and two in 13 games at first base.
Bednar was nice enough to agree to a brief Q&A session during last Tuesday's off-day. Here's what the right-handed hitter had to say.
As of right now (May 6), you have 15 multi-hit games in 30 opportunities. Clearly you're on a roll here in the early going. What has been the key for you to square up the ball like you've been?
The key to my success thus far has been the ability to put good swings on pitches I can handle and finding holes in the defense. I just need to stay consistent in doing that day in and day out. That's the hardest part about this game.
Noticing you've only drawn two walks, is that because you consider you've a pretty aggressive, contact hitter? What is generally your approach at the plate?
My approach at the plate is very aggressive. I look for fastballs and if it's in the zone I'll put my best swing on it.
At FGCU, you played primarily 2B and SS, which is where you played mostly with Salem-Keizer last season. Now, you've seen yourself play a majority of 3B and 1B. Makes sense with guys like Arroyo and Ryder Jones playing the middle infield, but how has it been making the adjustments to those positions this year?
Versatility has always been my strong suit. At FGCU I played every position besides pitcher and catcher so I've always taken reps in practice at various positions to keep myself comfortable anywhere they put me. With that being said, it's been pretty easy making the adjustment to the corners.
If you play one position for the rest of your life, which position would you play? Or are you a guy who really just enjoys playing anywhere? If so, why?
I'm a guy that enjoys playing any position and seeing the game from all parts of the field.
Tell me about your experience at FGCU. What made it special for you?
What made FGCU special for me was the relationships I made and the experiences I went through on and off the baseball field.
What sorts of things (all aspects of the game) are you working on right now and what kind of progress are you seeing in each?
Every day as a player you have to work on something to better yourself at this game because there is a lot to learn. For me it's trying to have a better understanding of the game as far as the little details in every pitch that's thrown. The coaching staff here has really helped me do that thus far and can't wait to learn more from them.
On 10-hour bus rides, what do you and your teammates do to say entertained?
Sleep is a big part of bus rides for all of us because we need rest playing this game on a daily basis. Other than that movies, music, cards, and social media.
In your twitter picture, you seem to be running with a parachute behind you. What's going on there?
That picture was taken during November camp last year when we were conditioning in the outfield at AT&T Park.
When it comes to sunflower seeds, which brand do you prefer?
You can never go wrong with David's BBQ or Ranch.