Rolen to bring expertise to Nay at Blue Jays camp

Former All-Star will help Toronto's No. 7 prospect progress at third base

Rolen to bring expertise to Nay at Blue Jays camp

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays are planning to bring in Scott Rolen later this week to work with prized prospect Mitch Nay.

Rolen's arrival date hasn't been confirmed, but he's expected to arrive within the next few days. The former All-Star is set to work with Nay on his fielding at third base and possibly his hitting as well.

The 21-year-old Nay projects as a middle-of-the-order bat, and with some progression in his work at third, the hope is he can avoid having to move positions as he gets closer to the big leagues.

"Just going to work on some infield stuff and maybe get to pick his brain on hitting," Nay said. "Scott Rolen is a guy that I grew up as a young kid, 10-12, watching him in the prime of his career. He has a wealth of knowledge that I can try and tap into. It'll be awesome to have him here."

Nay, the Blue Jays' No. 7 prospect according to MLB.com, is participating in his first Major League Spring Training after coming off a promising year with Class A Lansing. The former first-round Draft pick hit .285 with a .731 OPS, but he hit only three home runs. There's an expectation that the power numbers will increase as he gets older, but he's also changed his approach at the plate.

Blue Jays roving hitting instructor Mike Barnett suggested to Nay that he should focus on pulling the ball more to get his hands out in front and to get his mechanics started earlier to help with the aggressive approach.

The power showed up during the Blue Jays' intrasquad game on Monday afternoon. Nay scored the game's only run with a solo shot over the left-center-field wall off left-hander Juan Oramas.

"It has been something that's been missing from my game," Nay said of the power. "I think pitch selection has always been decent, but I think one of the main things is timing. If I'm looking more left-center area, I'm going to get my hands out there faster.

"I think when you're behind a little bit, you can't get that lift you want. When you barrel balls, you just hit line drives, but when you get out front, I think that's when you start to notice the ball carry a little farther."

Nay likely will begin the year at Class A Advanced Dunedin. He'll need at least a couple of more years of development, especially after missing all of 2012 with a broken foot, but he has a chance to become one of the first middle-of-the-order bats the Blue Jays have produced since Adam Lind.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.