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Friday, March 26, 2010

David Hajek, Hitting to All Fields - 675

Read the revisited Dave Hajek feature from September 2012, Dave Hajek, Made Himself

Assigned to single-A Asheville, Colorado Rockies' 13th round pick from 2004 Matt Miller needed to learn to hit the ball to all fields.

He used the Tourists' ballpark to help. He also used the Tourists' hitting coach, Dave Hajek.

"Our hitting coach, Dave Hajek, helped me a whole lot," Miller told in December 2005, "and a lot of my success came from hitting to all fields and not just the right-center field gap. I hope I can follow up next year with the kind of year I had this year."

With Hajek's help, Miller has followed up. He's spent the last two seasons at AAA Colorado Springs, knocking on the door of Denver. It is a career that, so far, has mirrored that of his old hitting coach Hajek.

It was even with the Tourists that Hajek spent his own first full minor league season, in 1990.

Hajek was assigned to Asheville after being signed by the Astros as a free agent out of college. He spent nearly six full seasons in the minors before the Astros called him up to Houston in September 1995. Hajek was on the same call-up list as Astros prospect Billy Wagner, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

Also, according to The Daily Star. Hajek got the call-up the day after learning his grandfather passed away. He dedicated his season to his grandfather. "I wish he could have had a chance to see me play up there," Hajek told The Daily Star.

On what he expected in his first trip to the big club, Hajek told The Daily Star he didn't know what to expect. "It's an experience I've looked forward to a long time.''

Hajek's playing time with Houston was limited that September to five games and five plate appearances. His first two appearances weren't even official at bats, they were sacrifices. The first runner he bunted over led to the Astros tying the game.

His first major league hit, however, didn't come until the next year, 1996. It came July 11, a double. The eight games Hajek played that year pushed his career total to 13, where it would end.

Hajek played three more seasons at AAA, in the Tigers, Padres and Rockies systems, playing his final year at the Rockies' AAA team in Colorado Springs.

Hajek is serving in 2010 as the hitting coach for the Rockies' AA team the Tulsa Drillers. But he returned to Colorado Springs in 2008 to model the Sky Sox' new uniforms.
1990 CMC Tally
Cards Reviewed:
89/880 - 10.1%
Made the Majors: 54 - 61%
Never Made the Majors: 35 - 39%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 19
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 31

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