OF’er Torii Hunter Jr.
Torii Hunter Jr. is back with the 66ers after finishing the 2018 season with the team, where he hit .327/.373/.382 in 60 plate appearances. Hunter Jr. has experienced the deepest grinds of the MiLB system, from the purgatory that is extended Spring Training to taking his skills all the way to Spring Training in 2019. Hunter Jr has experienced it all and his baseball knowledge/prowess is all the better for it.
Hunter Jr played football at Notre Dame during his college years while spending a smaller amount of time on baseball with the university. Despite his status as a standout wide receiver he took to signing with the Angels after bring drafted in 2016. Hunter Jr is the type of athlete that absorbs all possible knowledge is surrounded by, which in turn makes is 2019 Spring Training experiences some of his most valuable yet.
Hunter Jr [on his Spring Training experience]: “I feel good, I learned a lot this Spring. About myself, about that game itself. I’m just ready to build on that and carry it into the season.
I was going back and forth between minor league and big league camp, so I wasn’t one of the non-roster invitees. I’m just trying to continue to better my game, promotions [of myself] and everything else isn’t in my power but I can control showing up to the field everyday and how much I put into getting better everyday. That’s one of the things I’m going to focus on, just continuing to get better everyday.”
Of course one of the things you hear as the son of a prolific Major League star is comparisons to your fathers style of play. While the genetics from Torii Hunter to Torii Hunter Jr have been passed on there also lies the desire to separate oneself from a legacy that is not your own and create your own path. Hunter Jr received a lot of comparisons to his father this past Spring for making multiple highlight reel defensive catches in the outfield. Despite his defensive style of play reminding of his father, Hunter Jr is planning on creating his own legacy.
Hunter Jr: [on comparisons to Torii Hunter]: “I mean it’s kind of hard not to see it with the internet and stuff like that. I get a lot of comparisons, defensively at least, to my to my dad. At the end of the day I’m still trying to come into my own game and become my own person.
I want to continue to become a better hitter. That’s one of the areas I’ve been working on this offseason. Defense is something I’ve always prided myself on, it came more naturally than hitting did for me. I just want to continue towards becoming a better hitter and progress in that area.
Hunter Jr [on his off-season workouts] “A lot of baseball specific stuff. Not trying to move a ton of weight, but still moving weights and staying potentiated. Trying to build some muscle mass here and there, just trying to continue keeping my body in good shape and making sure it’s not completely torn up by the time I get to Spring (laughs)”
Torii Hunter Jr has appeared in four games through the young 2019 season and has 2 hits and 3 runs alongside 3 BB’s.