We sat down with Yankees' eighth round pick, Kyle Roller, for a Draft Day Q&A session. Find out what…
Roller On A Roll
Roller started off the season slowly, hitting in the mid .100s. Lately, however, things have been turning around, in a big way.
"It's been rocky at times but it's all about adjustment and not letting that one bad at-bat ruin your day," Roller said. "It's a serious grind and this game is about failure so you have to be positive and know there's another at-bat around the corner."
Initially, one might question the quick transition to professional baseball for a college player but the East Carolina University veteran thinks his initial growing pains are just little adjustments in his mechanics.
"A lot of those early troubles were a result of my stance. I started to then spread out a little more and keep my legs apart and look for good pitches. I was chasing stuff out of the zone and trying to hit everything," he continued. "Now I'm not trying to hit the long ball every time and concentrate on putting the ball in play."
Nonetheless, was there any pressure to be playing pro ball that affected him mentally?
"Not really, I've definitely been seeing some better arms here everyday - more lefties - but I think that makes you better as a hitter. This has been a dream of mine and you have to just stay confident."
If you didn't think there was a payoff to all this negative talk, here it is: Of late, Roller has been on a serious tear. In July alone, Roller has been hitting .395 and is among the league leaders in offensive stats.
"I'm not trying to do too much out there. I was trying to power it early on, now I let things happen, not make things happen. I've been trying to go the other way with the pitch and concentrate on a zone when I get my pitch."
Looking more closely at the numbers, Roller has been terrifying righties, hitting .360 overall.
"I get a better view with the righties from the left side, so I can see that ball. The lefties are still tough on me but you see them late in the game always, so I need to get better with them."
Defensively, the 22-year old is very humble about his time at first base, especially since he has only been at the position for a little over a year.
"Again, it's another place I'm not trying to over-think. I try and knock the ball down and get an out, nothing special but be reliable."
With little left to talk about the big first baseman, Roller thinks this season is in control. He's intent on not trying to get ahead of himself and doesn't put a plan in place for the future.
"I don't really set goals, just themes for improvement everyday whether it's flexibility, which is important for me, or mechanics. I strikeout against lefties a lot so I need to try and go with their pitches and look for something good to hit."
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