Josh Bell remains a work in progress, but he is nonetheless the Orioles third baseman of the future. A 23-year-old switch hitter who was acquired from the Dodgers, in exchange for George Sherrill at last year’s trade deadline, he came into the year rated by Kevin Goldstein as the number-two prospect in the Baltimore system. Currently with Triple-A Norfolk, Bell is hitting .270/.314/.486 with six home runs. He talked about his development during training.
On how he would describe himself: “I guess that I’m a guy who hits in the middle of the lineup and is expected to produce runs. As a person, I’m laid back and a hard worker who is trying to get to the big leagues.”
On his defensive game: “There is always work to do to feel comfortable on defense. I just need to keep working hard and getting better.”
On the coaches he has been working with: “Since I got here, Moe Hill has been the guy that has been helping me with my hitting. Since I’ve gotten to know him, Terry Crowley [has helped] a little bit.”
On learning from an old-school hitting coach like Crowley: “I’ve talked to him about when he played and it’s the same thing as far as the game is concerned. It’s just about learning your swing and when you get to this level you have guys who can kind of pick out your swing and know what it takes to stay at this level.”
On if he has a good understanding of his swing: “Now, I think I do. Last year, in Double-A, is when I really started to feel comfortable and this spring I came in from the off-season swinging. I just felt like it was all coming together.”
On his hitting approach: “Now it’s more of just a mental approach, knowing who is pitching, knowing what they’ve got, and attacking it that way. If they’re aggressive with fastballs early, then you have to be more aggressive. If you know that they’re throwing all of their pitches — their off-speed pitches — for strikes, then you have to be a little more patient. But mainly it’s just swinging at the pitch you want to hit and not diverting from your plan.”
On what is different with the Orioles: “For the most part, I wasn’t at this level with the Dodgers and it’s more about knowing myself. I wasn’t the player I am now. Last year, in Double-A, is when I really started to come into it. In the earlier years I was really just trying to find myself and my swing. Otherwise, there have been no changes.”