First baseman Adam Giacalone hit five home runs in 43 games for Helena in 2014.  (Photo: Brad Krause)
First baseman Adam Giacalone hit five home runs in 43 games for Helena in 2014. (Photo: Brad Krause)

GIACALONE SWINGING FOR MORE POWER IN 2014

2013 was a tale of two seasons for Brewers first baseman Adam Giacalone. After missing the first two weeks of the season, he joined the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in late April. In 64 games at Wisconsin, the 6’2″ slugger from Shawnee, Kansas, hit .249 with no home runs.

In July, the Brewers moved Giacalone to Helena of the Pioneer League, and he caught fire, becoming a key contributor to the team’s playoff run. In 43 games at Helena, he hit .337 with five home runs.

The power outburst was no coincidence however, as Giacalone revealed that the power stroke is exactly what the Brewers were looking for when they sent him to Helena.

“Definitely something I focused on” said Giacalone. “One of the reasons why I went down, Tony Diggs had a meeting with me and they kind of just wanted me to work on the power numbers, and he said ‘just come down here and swing it, just have some fun’. He goes ‘we know you can hit, we just need you to work on power’ so I went down there.

I spread out my stance a little bit, and that’s something I worked a lot on this offseason, just spreading out my stance. A big part of hitting is how easy can you do it without thinking, so when I went down there I just relaxed, did what they told me to do and it ended up working.

When I talked to Diggs and Chuck Caufield, they helped me a lot with working on a few things with my stance and mainly just to relax and go have fun. When you struggle a little bit, you put pressure on yourself, and so going down at the end of the year really helped me to just relax and enjoy the game.

And being around a great group of guys and a great coaching staff, and being in the playoff run we had, it was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot, just from the standpoint of what I need to work on, getting through struggles and trying to stay with it, just stay relaxed and have fun”

Giacalone will look to maintain that power and build upon what he’s learned in 2014. He’s chomping at the bit to get going and eager to carry over some of the success from Helena with a likely return to Wisconsin to begin this season.

“The offseason’s been long, but it’s been really well” he said. “I worked on my agility, getting a little quicker, definitely getting stronger, and getting more fit and lean. Trying to put up some numbers this year, with the power numbers is what the Brewers asked me to do, so trying to get ready for that. Just be as successful as I can, have fun and work hard. Hopefully the power numbers come because I’ve worked really hard on it, so definitely to see those go up and just have fun and win. Winning is a lot more fun.”

BIG LEAGUIN’

The Brewers fell to the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday afternoon by a score of 16-4. Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez each had two hits for the Brewers. Four minor league players saw action for Milwaukee, including outfielders Josh Prince and Jeremy Hermida, infielder Nick Shaw, and pitcher Kyle Heckathorn. Prince went 0-for-1 after replacing Carlos Gomez in center field. Hermida drew a walk in his lone plate appearance. Shaw went 0-for-1 but did score a run after coming on as a pinch runner for Rickie Weeks. Heckathorn worked a scoreless ninth inning.

ON DECK

On Sunday, the Brewers Triple-A (Nashville) and Double-A (Huntsville) teams will travel to the Peoria Sports Complex to face the Seattle Mariners affiliates.  While the Single-A teams (Brevard County and Wisconsin) will be in Maryvale, playing host to High Desert and Clinton.  Ariel Pena is scheduled to start the game for Nashville, with Damien Magnifico getting the start for Huntsville. Tyler Alexander is the scheduled starter for Brevard County, and Devin Williams, the Brewers top pick in 2013 will be on the hill for Wisconsin. All four games are slated to start at 1:00 pm.

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