Thursday, January 08, 2009
Catch, Already: Angels Win Interview With Eddie Bane
Q: (Angelswin) - The Arkansas Travelers should have a nice roster this season to follow up a Championship season in '08. Looks like their catcher will be Hank Conger as all the reports on Hank's shoulder are good. He recently let me know that he's feeling fine and the extended catching he did in the Dominican instructional league went well. Will the Angels be cautious with him behind the plate like they were in '08 in Arkansas or will they let him catch the majority of the games there?I sense a certain impatience over his injury history.
A: (Eddie Bane) - We want Hank to catch all the time. That is up to Hank and he knows how I feel about it. Get out there and catch. Everyone has talked with Hank from Mike and Tony, through the major league coaches and every minor league coach in the organization. That is because he is one of the most talented players in the game. He has one of those swings. Beautiful swing and the lefthanded swing is breathtaking. (Sorry, sounds like I am talking about a lady, OK back to baseball). I got some heat from Bill Shaikin and the people at Baseball America for saying I would take Hank Conger over any catcher in the minor leagues. They thought I was kidding. I was not! Hank would be in the 2009 draft if he were coming out this year. Can you imagine the numbers he would have put up last year at USC. This young man drove in 88 runs in about 80 games last season between the Cal League and 2A and was coming off an injury. When healthy and catching, Conger is on a very fast track to a team that is contending for the World Series every year. Important prospect and an important year.