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Pfeifer stealing the spotlight for Comets

Junior has provided a spark on the base paths for Rolette-Rolla

May 7, 2010
Matt Mullally

When Rolette junior Jaden Pfeifer reaches first base, he doesn't stay there very long.

The fleet-footed Pfeifer is usually on the move 90 feet to right.

"One of my jobs is to get on base and move over into scoring position,' Pfeifer said.

And stealing bases in one way to do it. He leads the team with seven steals in the first five games, and that skill is critically needed in a Comet lineup that's struggling to produce runs right now, said R-R coach Jesse Vote.

Of course, getting on base is the first step, and Pfeifer is leading the team with a .412 batting average.

The No. 2 hitter has the ability to hit the ball to all fields. "I'm not jut a dead pull lefty,' he said. "I was taught to hit the ball where it is pitched, and sometimes that's to left field."

High school baseball uses wood or composite bats which don't have as big of a sweet spot as aluminum bats, Pfeifer said. So it's important for batters to use good hitting mechanics, keeping a still head and accelerating through the hitting zone.

Jaden also has a good eye at the plate, laying off pitches outside the strike zone and coaxing his share of walks.

Pfeifer's knack to steal bases also helps his teammates in the batter's box. Pitches often throw fastballs as opposed to off-speed pitches when Pfeifer is on base. They want the ball to reach the catcher quicker and make it more difficult for Pfeifer to steal a base. However, fastballs are a more appealing pitch to the batter to swing at.

Even before he gets to first base, Jaden is studying a pitchers' delivery to home plate, picking up something that will help him when he reaches first base.

"From the on-deck circle, or dugout, I'm looking at that left front leg movement (by that the right-handed pitcher),' Pfeifer said.

That movement determines if the pitcher will deliver home or step off the pitching rubber and throw over to first base.

Pfeifer has been a good study as he's been able to steal off right-handed pitchers with regularity, but a left-handed pitcher poses a bigger challenge.

They have a more difficult delivery to pick up on and often can freeze a baserunner.

"Left-handed pitcher Garrett Thompson (of Rugby) is really tough to steal on,' Pfeifer said. "He had me picked off one time, but I was lucky to beat the throw down to second base."

Indeed, stealing a base is a lot harder than it appears, says Comet coach Jesse Vote, but Jaden has a talent for it, and that's good for R-R which needs a spark right now on the base paths.

 
 

 

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