Huntsville skipper: Komatsu "has the hitting genes"

The Double-A Harrisburg Senators received their newest acquisition this week in center field prospect Erik Komatsu. The 5-foot-10, left-handed-hitter came over from the Milwaukee Brewers in the Jerry Hairston Jr. trade Saturday and made his debut last night.

Komatsu played for the Double-A Huntsville Stars under manager Mike Guerrero, who was impressed with the former Cal-State Fullerton player. Komatsu hit .294 with 19 doubles, one triple, six homers, 13 stolen bases and 40 RBIs with the Stars.

Guerrero said Komatsu also showed his defensive skills in center field with 93 games this season.

"He is a pretty good outfielder," Guerrero said. "Komatsu gets good jumps on balls and makes the routine plays. He can come from all angles. He goes back on the ball well."

Offensively, Guerrero said Komatsu is a line drive hitter who has displayed power at Double-A this season.

"He commands the strike zone well," Guerrero said. "He will surprise you and hit the ball out. Komatsu runs the bases well. He can be a sneaky base stealer. He has a tendency to fall in love with the long ball. But when he remains under control at the plate, he will hit the ball well to all fields."

Evidence of what Komatsu can do was on display in his Harrisburg debut last night. He went 2-for-4 with a stolen base.

Guerrero believes Komatsu displays good makeup and needs games just like any other prospect to refine his skills.

"(Komatsu) is a great kid and has a great attitude, (and) sometimes displays that California cool demeanor," the manager said. "Just like any other minor league player, Komatsu is trying to be more consistent in all areas. This is only his second full season. He is a pretty good player."

Guerrero said Komatsu has the ability to play all three outfield positions.

"He played center field well for us," Guerrero said. "He also played right field and left field for me."

Guerrero had Komatsu batting second or fifth in his lineup and feels Komatsu projects well to the next level.

"He has the hitting genes," Guerrero said. "Komatsu has good hand-eye coordination and was developed well at Fullerton. I think he will get an opportunity to play in the big leagues. He will get his chance one way or another."

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