Cathcart on outfielder Ballou: “Most pleasant surprise in the draft by far”

Outfielder Isaac Ballou is having an outstanding season for the Auburn Doubledays of the New York-Penn League. The former Marshall star has excelled in 56 games, batting .284 through August 21.

The 23-year-old Ballou has 11 doubles, one triple, two homers, seven stolen bases, 32 runs and 17 RBIs in 197 at-bats.

Auburn manager Gary Cathcart said the 6-foot-2, 205-lb. Ballou has really gotten his attention through the first two months of the short-season.

“Most pleasant surprise in the draft by far,” Cathcart said of Ballou. “He settled into the leadoff spot pretty early in the season. He has the ability really to play outfield consistently every single night. You never feel he is out of an at-bat. He has faced everybody. He is very confident. Wants to learn. Asks very good questions.

“He is an early-to-the-park guy. He really prepares himself well. That is about as good a 15th-round draft pick as you could have based on what he has shown us.”

Cathcart said the focus for Ballou now is defense.

‘He is working on his stuff in the outfield. He is working on his footwork,” Cathcart said.

He said Ballou projects to be successful at higher levels because of the tools he possesses and how he shows patience and no panic at the dish.

“He has got a chance,” Cathcart said. “You just keep putting him at a higher level and see how he progresses because he doesn’t waver as far as his approach offensively. He really studies pitchers. At this level, you wouldn’t have expected him to have been drafted so low with what he has brought and how he approaches the game in his first year.”

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