HOUSTON -- The early returns have been good for right fielder Jimmy Paredes, who entered Thursday hitting .375 (3-for-8) in two games since he was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City. All three of his hits have been doubles, and Paredes said following Wednesday's game he feels more comfortable than he did when he was called up last year.
"It's amazing how [being] comfortable and confidence go hand in hand," manager Bo Porter said. "You're talking about a guy that's part of the reason we decided to bring him up here, because he was playing with a lot of confidence at Triple-A. I wanted to keep that confidence rolling, and he's done a tremendous job in the short period of time he's been here."
Paredes, who has been tried out at second base, third base and shortstop by the Astros in recent years before being moved to the outfield last year, hit .366 at Oklahoma City. Paredes had a strong debut in 2011 with Houston when he hit .286 with two homers and 18 RBIs in 46 games, but he struggled when he was called up late last year, hitting .189 in 24 games.
General manager Jeff Luhnow even senses a different level of confidence this year in Paredes.
"Confidence was the one theme I heard from everybody I spoke to who had been to Oklahoma City, and just watching his at-bats closely over the last couple of days, he's almost daring the pitcher to try to get something by him and fouling off bad pitches and waiting for his pitch," Luhnow said. "His pitch isn't necessarily in the strike zone -- it might be down by his feet -- but he's still going to hit a double. It makes for a pretty exciting ballplayer. He's got tremendous tools, and I think he's better than he was last year when he got here. He deserved the promotion last year, and I'm hoping this one is permanent."