NEW YORK -- Peter Bourjos spent a lot of Spring Training voluntarily taking pitches he'd normally swing at, which must've been frustrating for the speedy Angels center fielder. The hope was that it would serve a long-term purpose -- better strike-zone recognition.
Early on, it seems to be working out.
Bourjos went 1-for-3 while once again hitting in the No. 9 spot on Friday, and he's now batting .300 through the first week of the season. In his last three games, Bourjos is 4-for-9 with two extra-base hits -- including an inside-the-park home run at Target Field on Wednesday.
Bourjos, who has a high strikeout rate to begin with, raised some eyebrows this spring by striking out 17 times in 23 games. But he professes there was meaning behind it, hoping he may one day have the strike-zone recognition he needs to be a reliable leadoff hitter.
"Early in the counts, usually during the season, I'm more aggressive," Bourjos said. "This spring, I just told myself to not be so aggressive, take some pitches, track and try to get a better eye out there."