Already a slow starter, the spring conditions in the Midwest League have made it nearly impossible for Beloit Snappers’ outfielder Logan Farrar to find an early groove.
Farrar, the Oakland A’s 36th-round pick in last year’s draft, got off to a sizzling start to his professional career last summer with the AZL A’s and the Vermont Lake Monsters, but he hasn’t enjoyed many chances to shine thus far in 2018. Just as Farrar had started to get going, with a pair of multi-hit performances in three outings, his team has had five consecutive games postponed.
“It took me a little while to heat back up,” Farrar said. “Even right now, I’m still slowly getting back into it. That’s the player I’ve always been. It takes me a while. I get off to slow starts. Once I get my feet running, it takes off from there. I try not to get discouraged by a slow start. It is going to happen, but I know once it clicks it kind of gets rolling.”
Managing four hits in his past 11 at-bats has pushed Farrar’s season slash line to .179/.226/.321 in seven games. He’ll need to continue to improve in a crowded Beloit outfield that currently consists of 2017 first-rounder Austin Beck and four others.
“I’m embracing it,” Farrar said. “To be here, it feels good to show progress. At the end of the day, you want to continue to climb and do well and make an impact wherever you go.”
Farrar hit the ground running last summer with a full season of college ball at VCU under his belt. He recorded 17 hits in 35 at-bats in seven games in Arizona before heading to the short-season Lake Monsters and posting a line of .313/.383/.475 in 47 outings.
It was a remarkable open to Farrar’s professional career, given his draft position.
“I’d say it was more about my approach,” he said. “I went in there and told myself not to miss a pitch to hit. You’re going to get one fastball and maybe more in an at-bat, so don’t miss it. You just want to go in there and compete. I had success doing that.”
In anticipation of his facing increased competition at the next level, Farrar carried that momentum over into the winter.
“I was happy to have it and happy to start at the bottom and work your way back up,” he said. “You always want to start your climb and improve. That played a big motivator for me, to have a successful season.
“I went into the offseason and was happy with how it ended but wasn’t satisfied with where I was at. It wasn’t the end and I’ll continue to climb. It was a good memory, but now it’s a new season and that’s all over.”
The improvements didn’t just come in the batting cage, says Farrar.
“I spent most of it eating a little better than I do when I’m on the road here,” he said. “I lost 10 pounds doing that. I focused on hitting the ball the other way with backspin, with conviction. I knew it was going to happen at some point, being a left-handed hitter, they would probably put the power shift on. Teams have done it early this year and it’s worked for them. I worked on hitting the ball the other way and I’ve got to be able to show that.”
Opposing defenses have certainly followed suit in their approach to Farrar, who said he’s struggled to adapt.
“Since they shift, they kind of pitch it where they want, throw off-speed and get me out in front,” he said. “If I still hit it hard, they have somebody in that spot. It’s worked for them and been tough for me. It’s an adjustment I’m going to have to make.
“I’m going to have to hit the ball the other way and maybe lay a few bunts down if they’re giving it to me. I still need to be the same hitter I was last year and hunt good pitches. I’d say I’ve gotten less fastball and a lot more off-speed pitches that I need to make an adjustment with.”
Farrar knows what needs to be done but needs the weather to cooperate in order for him to show it in a game situation. Beloit will try to host Cedar Rapids for a doubleheader tonight at 5:00, which would mark its first game played since last Friday.
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