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Boesch repaying manager Leyland's trust

The Sports Xchange
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It's never taken a genius to see the potential in Brennan Boesch.

The second-year outfielder is big (6-foot-6) and athletic with an excellent uppercut swing. His bat speed is top-grade.

Though not a base-stealer, Boesch has excellent first-to-third and second-to-home speed.

He sprang to prominence with a terrific first half to his rookie season then brought the "why's that goofy manager playing him?" critics out with a horrendous second half.

Manager Jim Leyland stuck with him, knowing Boesch has the potential to be a .300 hitter who can drive in more than 100 runs a season and hit upwards of 30 home runs a year.

"I think he'll be, without question, an average left fielder with a chance to be a monster with the bat in his hands," Leyland said. "And that's pretty darn good."

Boesch worked hard during the winter on his fielding skills and also on getting better and smarter at the plate.

It's paid off this year with a more consistent Boesch at the plate.

"You can't be uptight and you have to be confident," Boesch said. "I'm feeling a lot of both right now."

On Tuesday night, his eighth-inning home run gave Detroit a 6-5 win over Texas after the Tigers had blown a 5-2 lead.

He got the game-winning hit in Detroit's 4-3 win at Kansas City, a single up the middle that drove pinch-runner Andy Dirks in from second base. This one game on a 1-0 pitch. The home run came on a changeup at the end of an eight-pitch at-bat in which he fouled off four straight 0-2 pitches before taking a ball.

"There are rare times as an athlete where things start to slow down a little bit and you kind of seize the moment," Boesch said of his game-winning home run. "I really felt like that was one of those times."

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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