Torsten Boss can get used to these wooden bats.
In just his second game after leaving college, the Aberdeen IronBirds’ third baseman slugged two home runs to lead the Orioles' short-season Single-A affiliate to a 8-3 victory over Hudson Valley on Tuesday night.
It was a somewhat unusual display of power for Boss, the Orioles eighth-round pick in this month's amateur draft. Boss has the ability to go deep but never exceeded the seven-homer mark in three seasons at Michigan State.
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“I think I’m a balanced hitter, don’t hit too much bombs, but I can hit for average too,” Boss said before Wedneday's home opener. “I have a little pop sometimes, but I like to spread the ball around, and I think that’s the kind of hitter I am.”
Aberdeen manager Gary Allenson said Boss has a nice looking swing, but his patience and approach at the plate have been more impressive during his short time with the club.
“He has a pretty good idea of when to cut his swing down, two-strike approach, put the ball in play, which is important,” Allenson said. “Too many players in the minor leagues, hitters, strike out when they shouldn’t strike out because they’re not power guys.
“He has a good approach of what he’s looking for, and he’s patient to get it.”
Though the NCAA switched to bats with less pop beginning in 2011, collegiate players typically go through an adjustment period to acclimate to wood. Even the feel and weight distribution can alter a swing or the ball flight.
Boss said two years playing summer ball in wood-bat leagues, in Cape Cod and in Ohio, helped him adjust.
“It’s huge using those wood bats,” Boss said. “You really have to square the ball up to get a base hit with wood.”
On Tuesday, Boss saw a lot of fastballs, so he was looking for the pitch. He found two he liked and squared up the ball — to the tune of two long balls.