Congrats to Alex Kowalczyk @koalawallabear (Texas Rangers), Christian Walker @christianwalker28 (Arizona D-Backs), Braden Bishop @bradenbishop1 (Seattle Mariners) and Travis Blankenhorn @trav_blankenhorn (Minnesota Twins) for being named Organization All-Stars by MiLB.com #yourenotthatgood#FIO : :
Kowalczyk put together one of the most prolific seasons in the system. The University of Pittsburgh product compiled a .305/.375/.449 slash line in the South Atlantic League, which would have placed him five points back in third place for the batting title if he had had enough at-bats to qualify. Kowalczyk also finished third among all Rangers Minor Leaguers with 56 RBIs while belting nine dingers and 21 doubles.
Walker, In arguably the best offensive performance by any Minor Leaguer this season, claimed Pacific Coast League MVP honors while leading the loop in RBIs (114, also tops in the Minors) and games (133) and second in hits (159), extra-base knocks (75), runs (104) and total bases (307). He also tied for second in homers (32).
Bishop produced the finest season of his three-year pro career. After hitting .273/.338/.326 across two Minor League levels in 2016, the 24-year-old jumped to .306/.393/.413 with Modesto and Arkansas this past season. The No. 5 Mariners prospect showed off his extra-base-hitting prowess with a career-high 34 doubles, four triples and three homers while adding 22 stolen bases in 27 attempts. The University of Washington product earned California League All-Star MVP honors after going 4-for-4 with a triple, double, three runs scored and two stolen bases. While Blankenhorn’s average dipped from .286 in 25 games last year with Class A Cedar Rapids to .251 with the Kernels this season, that coincided with a drop in BABIP (batting average on balls in play) from a sky-high .403 to a more normal .312. The 21-year-old made up for that by drawing more walks (47) than he had in 112 career games entering the season (34) and blasting 13 homers, driving in 69 runs and stealing 13 bases -- indicative of an all-around skill set that gives Minnesota confidence in his future.
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Countless studies show utilizing the kinetic chain not only enhances performance, but also reduces the risk of injury. As a throwing athlete you need to make sure that you are doing everything in your power to find and fix breaks in your chain. Arm pain or poor performance are often results of what is happening down stream in the chain. Find a coach who can assess your entire body for flexibility, mobility, speed, strength, power issues etc. Fixing these issues will go along way to improving your biomechanics and efficient use of the kinetic chain.