GENEVA – New Cougars outfielder Jose Dore grins while explaining the pronunciation of his hometown of Kissimmee, Fla.
“Kis-sim-mee during the day, Kiss-im-mee at night,” he said.
Appropriately, Dore is ready to embrace his second chance at the Midwest League after struggling in his first go-round. He did not play in Kane County while batting .208 in 53 combined games for Fort Wayne the past two seasons. The former San Diego Padres farmhand joined the Cubs organization in a March trade.
“Kane’s nice,” Dore said. “I mean, it’s a lot nicer than a lot of places in the Midwest League. I enjoy it.”
Injuries have limited Dore, 21, to 140 minor league games since the Padres drafted him out of high school in the eighth round in 2010.
He turned down a scholarship offer from Florida State to sign with San Diego, and is optimistic he can harness his talents if he can stay healthy.
“I can’t really say I’m a power guy or a speed guy. I kind of do a little bit of everything, you know,” Dore said. “I can move. I’m not a base-clogger. But I can also pop a few home runs. I just pride myself on my defense and just doing everything right.”
A corner outfielder, Dore also filled in at first base in the Padres system.
Pirate pals: Infielder Giuseppe Papaccio became the first 2013 Cubs draftee to join the Cougars when he was promoted July 4 from Rookie League Mesa (Ariz.).
Hours from his home in Nutley, N.J., Papaccio still spent the holiday – and now his subsequent nights – in the company of a friend.
Sensing his former Seton Hall teammate, St. Charles East product Dan Ditusa, might have lived in the area, Papaccio contacted Ditusa shortly after arriving in Geneva. No sooner than you could check your cellphone inbox, the Ditusas made him a host family guest.
“When I got called up here, I texted Dan and I was like, ‘How far are you from Kane County?’ And he’s like, ‘Ten, 15 minutes. You could live at my place,’ ” Pappacio said. “I just came over, and his parents were like, ‘You better go get your bags, because we want you to stay here.’ They were more than welcoming. They didn’t even give me another option. It was, ‘You better stay with us.’ It was really cool.”
On, guard: He must protect this mouth.
Center fielder Albert Almora sported a mouthguard for the first time in his career Wednesday, acting on a tip from Under Armor, with which he has an endorsement contract.
“They said they think it would help the performance,” Almora said. “They said it releases your stress levels and is light. … I”m trying to figure it out.”
A handful of defiant teammates asked Almora whether he ever had played organized football before as he soaked the mouthguard before the game. Almora had not.
• Kevin Druley is a sportswriter for the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5347 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @kevindruley.