Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Garrett Jones is leading the team in at bats this spring, but still is not getting the hits he would like. He is not discouraged, but remains focused on preparing for the long season ahead.
"Numbers wise, its not going well," Jones said prior to a recent game in Bradenton, Florida. "But overall, I'm trying to get my swing down. Physically, I'm feeling great. I'm just getting ready for the season."
After 15 games, Jones has eight hits in 40 at bats. Three of those hits were homeruns. He is second on the club in RBI's with 12.
Jones played 30 games at first base for the Pirates last season, 39 in right field, and 15 in left field. He is projected to be the team's starting right fielder on opening day.
He is hoping to build on his 2009 stats, when he belted 21 homeruns and hit .293 in just 314 at bats. But he has not set any "numbers" goals for the upcoming season.
"I think it's [2010 goal] just to stay healthy and keep consistency throughout the year and finish with decent numbers," he said. "As a team, have a winning season and see how far we go. I haven't set any number goals, you know, just try to have good at bats, take it one day at a time, and let the numbers take care of themselves."
Garrett spent his first year in the majors with the Twins and has played just one season with the Pirates so far. He really enjoys playing in Pittsburgh.
"I love it," Jones said, "beautiful stadium, great fans. Despite the losing record the past few years, the fans are very supportive and just want a winner. You can feel that energy the fans bring when they are cheering us on, it helps us as a ball club, knowing the fans are behind us. We're looking forward to having a great year and just getting better."
The Pirates home opener is April 5 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.