Jays’ minor leaguer Dantzler overcomes stress, wants to have fun

1st base prospect looks to move forward with baseball career

Jays prospect L.B. Dantzler wants to focus less on stats and more on baseball.  Curt MacGillivray/Toronto Observer

DUNEDIN, Fla – Blue Jays prospect L.B. Dantzler is looking to kick the stresses of professional baseball to the curb.

The 24-year-old from White Haven, Fla., was quick to burst on the scene with the Vancouver Canadians in 2013, hitting .302 with nine home runs and 35 RBIs.

However he struggled to maintain that consistency when he was promoted to Dunedin for the 2014 season.

Dantzler, in split time between Dunedin and Lansing, hit a combined .245, with six home runs and 64 RBIs in 2014. In his 2015 season, with Dunedin, he would put up similar numbers, hitting .251, with five home runs and 45 RBIs.

“After my Vancouver season where I did have some decent numbers, and a pretty good year, I started to get to where I put more expectations then I probably should have on myself,” said Dantzler, sitting in a golf cart at the minor league complex.

“I hit nine home runs in a short season, that means I needed to hit 18 in a full season. You start putting this pressure on yourself as a hitter, especially, playing first base where you’re expected to hit some home runs.

“I started trying to do things that I wasn’t used to doing.”

This is something the first baseman is trying to rid himself of for the upcoming season, in an effort to make the game he plays fun again.

Dantzler getting ready for practice by playing long toss in the outfield.

Dantzler getting ready for practice by playing long toss in the outfield.

“I spent the last two years stressing about moving up, trying to be a power hitter, and worrying about the numbers,” he said. “At the end of the day this is a game and I’ve been extremely blessed with my career and I just want to enjoy everyday I get to play it”

While Dantzler’s offensive production may have dropped off he is still focused on helping his team win in other ways.

His versatility as a fielder (he can play first and third base, and also the outfield), he believes provides him with a skill set that will aid him as he finds his swing again.

“I think anytime you can play more then one position and make yourself versatile, especially being in the position I am, anyway you can get into the lineup is good.”


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Posted: Mar 10 2016 10:15 pm
Filed under: 2016 Spring Training Baseball Sports