“Right now he is better than most of these guys at this level,” said a scout when talking about Yankees left fielder Neil Medchill.
As good as that is, it could also be the reason he is in a slump. “He has a very good batting eye, so that if a pitcher throws a pitch right on the corner inside or outside he will take it and fall behind in the count,” added the scout, “he will find enough pitchers at this level and probably at low-A and high-A where he can take advantage of week pitching who would fall behind in the count and either walk him or give him a pitch in his sweet spot and then he will do some damage.”
Medchill has been doing damage this year, leading the league with 13 homeruns, a Staten Island Yankees record. In 207 at bats this season he is hitting only .278, after a long slump that began a week before the All-Star Break. Prior to the slump he was hitting over .300 and led the league in several categories. The slump coincided with a stretch of many road games over the last half of the season. Being on the road has not been kind to the slugging outfielder where he is hitting just .245 on the road as opposed to .311 at home.
The slugging left-fielder has shown signs of breaking out of the slump and credits his turn around to Staten Island Yankees Hitting Coach Ty Hawkins. “We worked on my swing a little bit and watched a little video. Try not to think too much and get myself on the right track,” said Medchill after he hit the homerun that tied the previous Baby Bomber homerun record, “I think of it not by game-by-game but try to come out of it as there is still a whole lot of season left. Try to go about it the rest of the season and have a good season instead of just one quality game.”
Most of Neil’s time with Staten Island has been spent manning left field but has played a few games in center recently. “He doesn’t seem to be outstanding in the field so his bat is going to have to carry him,” said the scout, “He has a left field arm so that is going to cut down on his opportunities to play center or right field.”
The real test will come next season for Medchill. “He will find enough pitchers at this level and probably at low-A and high-A where he can take advantage of week pitching who would fall behind in the count and either walk him or give him a pitch in his sweet spot and then he will do some damage,” said the scout, “but as he moves up he is going to find better and better pitching staffs that will choke off unless he makes some adjustments.”
Right now it seems as if Medchill could be a future power threat for the Yankees if he makes adjustments as he goes through the system.