Spartans’ backstop Maynard searching for consistency in Urso’s system

Hot bat gives catcher an inside track on starting spot

University of Tampa catcher Danny Maynard making a defensive play from behind the plate at in-field practice on Thursday afternoon.  Brandon Cameron

TAMPA, Fla. – Catcher Danny Maynard knows success for anyone under head coach Joe Urso’s system comes from being able to swing the bat.

The University of Tampa manager’s style is dependant on players who come in and perform every day.

“If you’re not consistent on a day-in, day-out basis there is just not going to be a spot for you on his squad,” said Maynard. “The guy knows what he’s doing.

“I think him demanding consistency out of his guys on a daily basis has made not only me, but each and every one of these guys that have come through the program better.”

In 12 games this season, Maynard has a .298 batting average, a .306 on base percentage, and two home-runs out of 47 at bats.

Urso knows what Maynard can bring to the plate, but thinks he needs to work on his play each day to be a full-time starter.

“He has great power potential, and a cannon for an arm behind the plate as a catcher,” said Urso, before practice on a sunny Thursday at the campus. “We just need to get more consistency out of him this year. And if we do, you’re going to see him in the lineup everyday.”

Maynard’s batting is a strength the coach highly values in him.

“The power is the first thing that jumps out at you,” said Urso, “This kid has power to all fields. Opening weekend he ends up hitting a home-run to left at Steinbrenner Field that cleared the wall by a ton. And then hit one to right field that again cleared it by a ton.”

Coach Urso’s lineup has as many players that can hit on it as possible, and Maynard believes versatility is how you find success under the coach.

“If you’re swinging the bat well, you’re going to be in the lineup, said the senior. “It goes for everybody. Guys that can play multiple positions, if you’re swinging the bat, he’ll find a spot for you.”

Coming to Tampa after two years at the University of Maryland, the catcher has found Urso’s approach to baseball different to what he was accustomed to.

“It’s a transition from my first years at Maryland where defence is the most important thing”

 

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Posted: Mar 8 2019 7:51 pm
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