Gwinnett Braves outfielder Brandon Boggs waits for a pitch at Coolray Field earlier this season (Photo: William Lofton/Gwinnett Braves)
LAWRENCEVILLE — Brandon Boggs’ dreams are first of making it to the big leagues, but getting the opportunity to play for the Braves makes chasing his dreams even sweeter.
“I’m here, my family is here, my friends are here, when the games are on TV they are watching, or whenever they get the chance to come out they are watching, all of that plays a part in me coming to the ballpark every day,” said the Gwinnett Braves outfielder, who played high school baseball at Pope High School in nearby Marietta and attended Georgia Tech. “You have a new life that you can do something special with and make those guys proud of you each and every day.”
Boggs joined the Gwinnett Braves early in the season, signing a minor league contract on May 8, just three days after he was released by the Minnesota Twins. His season hasn’t been a breakout, but recentl, the 30-year-old has shown some spark.
For the past few games, Boggs’ offensive statistics have been very impressive for Gwinnett, especially on their previous four-game series on the road against Charlotte. Boggs hit .388 for the series with three RBIs. It was a big turnaround for the left fielder from the previous three games he played against the Durham Bulls in which he went 0-for-12 and struck out six times.
“I tried a different approach,” Boggs said. “Durham was throwing me a lot of offspeed pitches and I started looking for them too much and they got me swinging out of the zone, and so I went back to looking for the heater and adjusted.
“Sometimes one plan doesn’t work so you got to keep trying different ones. I wish the adjustment would have happened sooner, but that’s the game of baseball, you just get out there and learn every day.”
In his last 10 games, Boggs is hitting .265 with a couple of RBIs and a double. Following his hot streak against the Knights, Boggs slid back, going 0 for his next 13, including five strikeouts during the first four games of the G-Braves current road trip.
In any sports league, especially baseball, things always operate differently from team to team and it can be hard for a transitioning player coming in to adjust. During his career that spans stints with the Texas, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Minnesota organizations, Boggs has had to cope with learning how various organizations behave.
Boggs joined the Twins over the offseason, but lasted just through early May, leaving him available for the Braves to scoop him up.
Since joining Gwinnett, Boggs’ numbers have improved, including his batting average that is currently at .260. It’s a major improvement from the .184 average he had during the 21 games he played with Rochester, Minnesota’s Class AAA team.
“For me, jumping around the last few years, I try to adapt and do the little things and keep what I’ve been doing the same,” Boggs said. “The Braves are a great organization. They focus a lot on hard work which is good for anybody at any age just to keep that work ethic up.”