Logan adapts well to minor switch

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 7, 2000

How’s this for a switch? Nook Logan is batting from the left side of the plate.

Logan, who batted from the right side through his playing days at Natchez High and Copiah-Lincoln Community College, has been asked to be a switch hitter by the Gulf Coast Tigers of the Rookie League.

Following a banner high school and junior college career, Logan was selected in the third round by the Detroit Tigers two months ago.

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Once he arrived at the Tigers’ Lakeland, Fla., team, which plays in the Gulf Coast League, Logan was told to adapt to the left side of the plate.

&uot;They said they wanted to take advantage of my speed and athleticism,&uot; said Logan, who has been timed at 6.6 in the 60-yard dash. &uot;They wanted me to try something new and so far it’s been working. It’s just a matter of turning and running instead of crossing the plate. It’s interesting, but I like it.&uot;

Logan said he runs a 3.9 to first base from the right side of the plate and 3.6 from the left side.

&uot;I’m more comfortable batting left-handed now,&uot;&160;Logan said. &uot;It’s taken away some of my power, but more things are opening up with my speed. I just try and hit it to the opposite side of the field. If the shortstop has to field the ball deep, I can beat it out. It’s also easier for me to bunt.&uot;

Logan is currently the second-leading hitter on the game with a .270 average. He has scored 14 runs, and has 10 stolen bases, along with 15 walks. After starting out as the No. 7 hitter in the lineup, he has moved up to the No. 2 spot.

&uot;Things are going well,&uot; Logan said. &uot;I’m a lot more comfortable now.&uot;

Logan admitted making the change was a bit frustrating at first.

&uot;But they told me not to worry about my average, just try and make good contact,&uot; he said. &uot;I’ve been getting a few hits here and there left-handed.&uot;

Logan is hitting .500 from the right side of the plate.

Logan said another big adjustment has been running the bases.

&uot;It’s a different system,&uot; he said. &uot;You are going against better arms. Plus you are hitting 90-plus fastballs.&160;There are different situations, such as when you are on first base and there is a flyball, I used to go halfway. Now if somebody is on second base and they are tagging up, then so am I in case there is a bad throw.&uot;

Logan is playing shortstop.

&uot;That’s going pretty well,&uot; he said. &uot;It’s different playing on so many good fields.&uot;

Lakeland’s seasons ends Aug. 26. Logan is expected to be invited to play in the instruction league this fall.

&uot;I feel like I’ll be moving up next year,&uot; he said. &uot;New York and West Michigan are Class A teams for the Tigers.

Detroit’s double-A team is moving from Jacksonville, Fla., to Mobile, Ala.

&uot;I would love to be playing in double-A next year,&uot; Logan said. &uot;I have to learn to be more patient around the plate. Every pitch is around the strike zone, which is not as big as it used to be. But I’m learning every day.&uot;