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Camargo notches three hits in Javelinas victory

Braves prospect bounces back to lead Peoria to fourth straight win

Johan Camargo had not had a hit since Nov. 6th. He entered that day on a five-game hitting streak in the Arizona Fall League, before he suddenly found himself mired in an 0-for-17 slump.

He broke out of his funk Saturday, serving as a catalyst to help lead Peoria to a 4-3 victory over Glendale, its fourth straight win. Camargo -- the Braves No. 22 prospect as rated by -- collected three hits, drew a walk and scored the go-ahead run in the fifth.

While he struggled the past few weeks, Camargo said too often he was pulling the ball. His swing became unbalanced and timing off. As a result, he has been getting his foot down earlier to help catch up to fastballs.

"Trying to stay inside the ball, trying to hit the ball in the middle of the field," Camargo said through an interpreter. "Avoid pulling pitches like [I] was doing last time."

He started his day by legging out an infield single in the first inning. He singled to center field in the fifth inning, advanced to third on a ground-rule double and came around to score on a grounder to second to put Peoria ahead in the game. Camargo singled again in the eighth inning, this time driving the ball the other way to left field.

It was a strong day for Camargo in what has been a tough start for him in Arizona. Entering Saturday, he was hitting .176/.222/.196 in 13 games and had scored just three runs. But he is a strong contact hitter and a switch-hitter that earned a non-roster invite to Spring Training with Atlanta earlier this year.

The Braves signed Camargo out of Panama in 2010 as a shortstop and his hands, instincts and athleticism all predict he could have a future at shortstop if that's where the Braves deem he fits best.

Of course, Atlanta just traded its star defensive shortstop Andrelton Simmons to the Angels, so there could be an opportunity at that position in the future within the organization.

But Camargo played third base on Saturday and has spent some time playing the position recently. He started playing there late last month, but prior to then Camargo had made only one appearance at third since 2013. He also played 44 games at third in the Dominican Summer League in 2012.

Camargo said getting more games under his belt has been beneficial for him during his time in Arizona, both with playing third base but also in helping him develop offensively.

"Gaining experience, not only on the field offensively but defensively as well," Camargo said. "And situational hitting, having to face tougher competition, older pitchers and more advanced competition, [I've] had to learn how to hit in certain situations."

Jamal Collier is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.
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