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Minor Leagues' No. 1 Player Keeps Major League Schedule

November 22, 1987|Associated Press

NEW YORK — Gregg Jefferies, named on Monday as the minor league baseball player of the year for the second straight season, is keeping a major league schedule these days.

"I'm running and swimming in the pool, about 40 laps a day. I take grounders at my junior high school, then at my high school, then at home," Jeffries said.

"I lift weights, and I swing a 40-ounce bat in the pool. Then I go to my old high school and hit off a big boxing bag, just to strengthen my whole swing, my whole body and everything. That all takes me from 9 in the morning to 5 at night.

"I don't do it Sunday. That's my day off."

Jefferies, 20, finished his third professional season in the New York Mets' minor league system in 1987.

With Class AA Jackson of the Texas League, Jefferies hit .367 with 187 hits, 20 homers, 101 runs-batted in and 26 stolen bases in 134 games. He came up to the Mets late in the season and had three hits and two RBI in six at-bats, all as a pinch hitter.

Baseball America announced that it had chosen him as its minor league player of the year for the second straight season. Jefferies spent most of the 1986 season with Class A Lynchburg, batting .354.

"I'm more surprised by the award this year than I was last year," Jefferies said in a conference call from his home. "There were a lot of players around the league this year with great stats."

Jefferies, a native of Burlingame, Calif., said he expects to spend most of next season at Class AAA Tidewater. He is a shortstop-third baseman.

Jefferies calls defense "the biggest part of my game I need to improve on."

Last year, Jefferies made 35 errors, but only three in 30 games after being moved to third base.

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