Bauers Gaining Respect From Vets In Camp

DUNEDIN (620 WDAE) -- He came to Tampa Bay as part of a deal that sent an American League Rookie of the Year and perennial outfield presence Wil Myers to the west coast.  He's come to his first big-league camp and unleashed a couple of titanic home runs on to the roof of the team's administration building beyond the right field boardwalk.  Now outfielder Kevin Kiermaier, who's about to sign a new six-year extension, is putting Bauers' name on the map.

It's a statement the 21-year-old first baseman becoming an outfielder is proud of.

"It means a lot," Bauers told me Saturday.  "Definitely one of the goals in Spring Training for a young guy like me is to kind of gain respect and fit in the clubhouse and get to know guys and learn from them.  Any time you're getting respect like that from them it's huge.  It means more than I'm sure he thought, and probably anyone else thought, because it gives you that confimation that you're doing [things] the right way and just to keep on going."

Manager Kevin Cash said he's been impressed with the complete makeup of the young prospect.

"The power is great but I think the way of him just showing what kind of hitter he is [is better]," Cash said.  "He just looks like one of those pure hitters.  He comes up, he's got ther swing, he doesn't swing at many balls.  I think somebody said he was 2 for 3 with a homer, then walked five straight times before hitting another homer [Friday.]"

As for the designation of show swing and show hair, the youngster from Huntington Beach, California feels one certainly helps the other.

"The hair is something I take great pride in," Bauers laughed.  "You've got to keep it looking good, whether yo're going to go with the long hair like I had a few years ago or you're going to keep it cut short, you've got to keep it looking good  Because if you don't look good then how can you play good."

Whatever the approach has been this spring, it's certainly working.

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