Velez continues to shine in camp
Infielder has career day on Friday with homer, three RBIs
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Eugenio Velez got a bonus on Friday and made the most of it, as he continues to make his presence felt.The 25-year-old infielder had two hits, including a two-run home run off Arizona Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb, and drove in three runs in the Giants' 11-6 victory. Velez entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Ray Durham in the bottom of the first inning. Durham left the game with a migraine that he said came on suddenly. Velez, who played at three levels last year, including the big leagues, likes the idea of becoming a utility player for the Giants; though second base is his natural position. "I played third four years ago and now I'm practicing a little center field," he said. "When you play any position, you have to feel comfortable, and that means practice and playing hard." Giants manager Bruce Bochy thought Velez had a good chance to make the team because of his versatility. "He could be a third baseman and he has progressed at second," Bochy said. "He's definitely a possible bench player, a guy who can be part of a double switch at several positions." Velez also stole two bases, including one in which he was picked off and beat the throw to second. He also dove to snare a line drive which he turned into a double play. "He's been hot all spring, and what a play he made," Bochy said. "The kid is just fun to watch." Velez signed as a shortstop and was moved to second base two years later. He added third base and outfield this spring. When he joined the Giants as a September callup, two of his three hits were triples despite having a sore wrist at the time. "I'm a better hitter because I've seen more pitches," Velez said. "I just have to play hard."
Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.