South Atlantic League All-Star Game Outtakes: Chace Numata
By Ashley Marshall
Over the next week, I’ll be publishing a series of short posts featuring players I spoke with at Lakewood’s FirstEnergy Park during the South Atlantic League All-Star game.
Chace Numata entered the All-Star break hitting .254 with a pair of homers and 24 RBIs in 49 games. He also leads all catchers with 57 assists, and he has thrown out almost 30 percent of would-be base stealers.
“I though it was no so bad,” Numata said of his first half. “Hitting-wise, I thought I did well in the first few months. I started slowing down toward the end. Catching wise, I got a lot better as the season went on and I’m starting to make the little adjustments pitch by pitch or even game by game.
“I’m squaring up the ball more consistently. The more consistent you are, the better you’ll be. [I want to] just stay a little more consistent, working on the same things and making adjustments to the pitchers in the second half — understanding how they’re pitching me and then making the adjustments.”
Numata has been working with a pitching staff that included three South Atlantic League All-Stars in Steven Inch, Yoel Mecias and Delvi Francisco.
“We’ve got a pretty young staff with a lot of hard throwers,” Numata said. “They’re learning to make the adjustments and they’re also getting a little smarter as the season goes along. We give up a lot of home runs here and there, but the main thing is they’re throwing strikes. Hopefully the second half we’ll pick it up and less errors will help us win.
“Great improvements from the first day I caught them when I got drafted until now. They’ve grown and they’ve matured. Fastballs, changeups, curveballs, everything has got better and they’re learning every day.”
And the pitchers who have the best individual pitches?
“Steven Inch has a pretty good fastball. Great two-seam sinker and throws in the low 90s,” said Numata, selected in the 14th round of the 2010 Draft. “And Francisco topped out one day at 97. We have a few hard throwers. We picked [Danny] Carela up and he throws fire. It’s interesting to catch those guys.
“Macias throws an awesome changeup, probably the best I’ve seen all season. The movement, the deception, the speed and him being able to throw it whenever in the count.
“Inch and Shane Watson have some of the better curveballs on the team.”
More SAL ASG outtakes: