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Eric Haase Slugs His Way Onto 40-Man Roster

It’s probably an oversimplification to say Eric Haase slugged his way onto the Indians’ 40-man roster, but hitting a career-high 27 home runs certainly didn’t hurt.

The 24-year-old Haase had a breakout season at Double-A Akron, finishing second in the Eastern League in slugging percentage (.574) and third with 26 home runs.

Haase received a late-season promotion to Triple-A Columbus, where he hit his 27th home run. Prior to this year, Haase had topped out at 17 homers in 2014.

"He’s worked really hard the last few years with his catching as well as his hitting,” Akron manager Mark Budzinski told earlier this year. "He really bought into what (hitting coach) Johnny Narron and (bench coach) Omir Santos taught about being ready for the fastball and adjusting to everything else and taking it through the middle of the field. It’s paid off for him.”

A 2011 seventh-round pick, Haase attended Divine Child High in Dearborn, Mich. Had he not been added to the 40-man, he would have qualified as a minor league free agent.

Haase said there was no magic formula that led to a career year.

"It’s just kind of hammering out my routine day in and day out,” he said. "It’s nothing really in my amount of swings as much as it is my intent in batting practice. I’m just trying to hit everything hard through the middle of the field, just a little bit higher in general.”

The Indians are well-fortified at the catching position, with Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez at the big level and top prospect Francisco Mejia at Double-A. Now with Haase, the Indians have four catchers on their 40-man roster.


2016 Arizona Fall League Rosters

Breaking down the rosters of the 2016 Arizona Fall League clubs

Haase appears destined for a season at Columbus in 2018.

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