BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - If you're an opposing pitcher facing Corey Ray this year, I've got two words for you. Watch out.
The Shuckers outfielder has been straight gas at the plate in 2018, already tying the franchise record for home runs in a single season with 16 (Jake Gatewood broke the record Thursday with his seventeenth, but Ray isn't far behind).
For Ray, the power has always been there. Lately, what's improved is the approach.
"I think I'm swinging at good pitches," Ray said. "I think if you have the bat speed and you work hard that everything will pay off. I think for me, the biggest thing is getting a good pitch to hit and not missing it, and I think I've been getting good pitches to hit and putting good swings on them."
Never was that more evident than Ray's three home run performance July 11th against Jackson, becoming just the third player in Shuckers history to pull off the feat.
With the big hits coming more frequently, the Brewers' sixth-ranked prospect now hopes to fill in the gaps a bit and bring his average up out of the .250 range.
"I think that's the next step in my progression as a hitter," Ray said. "Just consistently going in day in and day out and getting hits, and not just doubles and triples, but mixing in a few singles every now and then. But getting the average up means consistency, and I think that eventually it will come."
It's not just the hitting. Whether it's his fielding percentage of .969, or leading the Southern League in stolen bases with 28, Ray is doing whatever he can to contribute to the Shuckers and continue climbing the Minor League ranks.
"For me, it's just about getting to the big leagues and staying there," Ray said. "Numbers aren't as important to me in the minor leagues, it's about doing whatever it is I have to do to make myself an everyday big-leaguer."