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June 2, 2011

Overbeck prospering in Double A

Cody Overbeck isn't sure when his next promotion will come. Until then he plans to just keep swinging.

The Phillies' 2008 ninth-round draft pick out of Ole Miss has successfully advanced to Double A in only two full seasons and quickly gained attention and notoriety at the level as he tops the Eastern League in a couple run-producing categories.

Overbeck, a member of the Reading Phillies, leads the EL with 14 home runs and 38 RBI. He's hitting .280 and is fourth in the league with a .538 slugging percentage.

Strikeouts are going to happen with Overbeck. He has 43 of those, but that's only 26th in the league -- a manageable number.

Double A is regarded as the most difficult jump for a prospect, but the Atoka, Tenn., native has adapted well since moving up from Class A Advanced Clearwater following an appearance in the Florida State League All-Star Game in 2010. In 78 games with Reading last season, Overbeck hit 13 home runs.

"The move to Double A isn't as difficult as everybody says it is," Overbeck said. "It's different because of the talent one-through-nine and all the pitching depth and arms coming out of the pen. But I'm just trying to stay consistent.

"It's all about not wasting at-bats. Before you know it, you're 0-for-10, and it can slip on you."

Those less-than-stellar stretches haven't been often for the three-year Rebel letterwinner. He was named Eastern League Player of the Week back in April and is increasing his worth to the organization with defensive versatility.

Mostly a third baseman in college, Overbeck has played third base, first base and left field for Reading this season.

That ability to move around helps his chances of progressing through the system. Overbeck, who turns 25 years old on Sunday, has three errors in 50 games so far in 2011.

"It's been all right out in left field," Overbeck said. "I wasn't just thrown out there. They told me a week or two before, and I took some balls. I haven't done the outfield since my freshman year at Ole Miss. I'm there or first base depending on who we play that day."

Overbeck is happy with his timeframe and hopes to be in Triple A by the end of the season. He doesn't hear from the front office often. It's all about playing with consistency.

"I can't complain at all," Overbeck said. "I didn't know what to expect when I started and now I'm here. I'm not a really big prospect so I don't hear from people much. I just want to keep moving up and see how it goes."


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