Lyerly Still Adjusting

Lyerly has a six-game hit streak

CHARLESTON, SC - Having missed most of the 2009 season due to injury, Robert Lyerly went to Spring Training without the benefit of playing many games with the Staten Island Yankees. But he is quickly making up for his lack of experience with a versatile defensive game, strong bat and a tremendous attitude.

Robert Lyerly, who is 22 years old, feels that his first Spring Training went well and that he is working on making the necessary adjustments.

"I am still learning. I will be learning my whole career, he explained. "It is definitely a lot different than college was and that is what I am trying to adjust to."

Lyerly, a native of Indian Trail, North Carolina, was selected as a third baseman in the 6th round of the 2009 first year player draft.

While playing at the University of North Carolina Charlotte, he was selected to the Atlantic 10 Conference 1st team as a first baseman in 2009. During his college career Lyerly, who throws right-handed, played all four infield positions. During summer ball, he even played outfield.

Currently dividing his time between first and third base with the Charleston Riverdogs, Lyerly has no preference as to which position he plays.

"In pro ball I am trying to get adjusted to where they want me to play. Now I am playing third and first, and I am trying to get better at those," he said.

Lyerly was modest when asked about his defensive strengths and goals.

"If I can get to the ball, I can usually catch it," he said. "That's probably my best strength."

"And I have a decent arm," he added.

His defensive goals reflect the same attitude that has impressed the RiverDogs hitting coach, Justin Turner.

"I just want to get better. I want to get to more balls, save runs, save hits for the pitchers and help the team win," he stated.

Turner is pleased with what he has seen so far. He believes Lyerly has made good progress with the bat and is impressed by the work ethic he has shown.

"He is one of the hardest working kids that we've got," he stated. "He's in the cage every day and puts his time in."

"Now it is just a matter of getting consistent. He's doing a good job," Turner added.

Turner believes Lyerley is making improvements at the plate. He noted that at the beginning of the season he was probably a little over-anxious and excited, just like anyone would be.

Describing the 6-foot-2, 200 pound left-handed hitter as "strong as an ox," Turner believes strength is Lyerly's greatest asset when it comes to hitting. Turner would like to see him work on his consistency, but he also keeps in mind the fact that Lyerly missed most of last year.

"This is his first real go-round in the pros," he explained. "He just needs to go out playing and working like he is doing now and he will be fine."

"He is a hardworking guy, he is intelligent and he is willing to put the time in that it takes to be good. All I really expect is that he comes to the ballpark every day looking to get better than the day before and he's doing good with that."

Currently batting .288 (third highest on team) with 10 RBIs (tied for second), Lyerly would like to improve a few aspects of his hitting game. He wants to stay more consistent and have better at-bats.

"When I swing, I want to make better contact," he explained.

When asked if he is satisfied with how his season is progressing, Lyerly explained, "You know, everybody likes to play better but as long as I am consistently getting better and making hard contact, that's all I want to do."

"I just want to keep hitting the ball hard, " he added.

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