2005 Season in Review: Armstrong Puts Self on Map

2005 Season in Review: Armstrong Puts Self on Map

Jason Armstrong was drafted in the 25th Round of the 2004 First Year Player Draft, and quickly signed his professional control on June 16. Armstrong was sent to play in the NY-Penn League with the Auburn Doubledays, and spent his time as a utility bench player. When the 2005 season came around his role remained the same, the only difference was that he was playing for the Lansing Lugnuts, however, this time Armstrong did something to change his fate.

Although the 2005 season for the Lansing Lugnuts has ended, and many will not remember what occurred during the year by this time next season, one player on Lansing proved this season he should not be overlooked and has the guts and heart to play this game. Jason Armstrong was drafted in the 25th Round of the 2004 First Year Player Draft, and quickly signed his professional control on June 16. Armstrong was sent to play in the NY-Penn League with the Auburn Doubledays, and spent his time as a utility bench player. When the 2005 season came around his role remained the same, the only difference was that he was playing for the Lansing Lugnuts, however, this time Armstrong did something to change his fate.

"I struggled at the beginning in Auburn, but eventually I was able to turn it around and finish well" said Armstrong.

The San Francisco native proved right from the wire that he can be more than a utility bench player, and that he has the talent to be a regular starter. He played in just 13 games during April, but hit .371 (13-35) with 12 runs scored and 7 RBI. Lansing was battling for a first-half playoff spot and there was no time to fool around, and manager Ken Joyce had to put Armstrong into the starting lineup. After have a mediocre month of May, Armstrong tore up the Midwest League pitching in June, hitting .337 (35-104) with 12 runs scored and 14 runs batted in. Overall he finished with a .289 batting average, fifty-two runs batted in and sixty-three runs scored. Armstrong played solid defense, always made contact, but never hit for much power. Despite batting in the leadoff spot for the majority of the season, the infielder was extremely clutch when it counted. With the bases loaded he hit .438 (7-16) with 15 RBI and with runners in scoring position he hit .300 (42-140) with 51 RBI. With runner on base, the second-year player hit .313 (61-195) with 52 RBI. The right-hand batter also had a field day with left-handed pitching, as he hit them for a .378 mark in 119 at bats.

"Jason Armstrong didn't get an opportunity to play that much last year in Auburn, but came up here as a utility guy and forced his way into the lineup" said Joyce on his leadoff hitter.

Armstrong had a great season as he was trying to improve himself defensively. The infielder, who did not play second or third base since high school, played the majority of the time at the hot corner, while seeing some action at second base and shortstop.

"I did play second or third base since my earlier years in high school, so I was trying to get a feel for those positions. It was a little bit of an adjustment, but the coaching staff worked with me early before practice to try to get back into the swing of things."

One thing is certain for 2006 and that is that the 23-year-old will be move up another level to the Florida State League. The FSL should provide Armstrong another challenge, however, with his mental makeup you can be sure he will do everything that he possibly can to succeed once again.

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