Since being drafted out of high school in the 30th round of the 2009 amateur draft, Royce Consigli has always been young for his level.
Falling back on that would be an easy excuse, especially when the 19-year old experiences setbacks in his first year on a full-season club in Burlington. But that is not the case for the 6'2'', 220-pounder, who continues to push through a difficult stretch in the Midwest League.
"Age doesn't really come into factor when you're playing baseball," said Consigli, who has slumped in June before going 4-for-5 with a triple and a homer and two stolen bases on Wednesday night.
"Yeah, it's great to be young but at the same time everybody has to do their job. Even though the guy next to me might be 23 or 24, we've still got to do the same thing each and every day.
"Learning how to make adjustments is the biggest part of the game. The game has gotten quicker and faster, and you've got to learn how to adjust. For the last couple weeks I've been pounded with change-ups and been trying to make the adjustments."
Consigli batted .343 with an OPS higher than 900 in the month of April, but has actually cooled down as the weather heats up. For the first time since his initial pro season in 2009, he has faced a prolonged bout with adversity.
As one of the youngest players to suit up for the rookie league team in Phoenix last summer, Consigli, who spurned a college commitment to Pittsburgh to sign with the A's, finished third in batting average (.340) and fourth in OPS (893) and earned his way onto the post-season All-Star team.
It was a remarkable turnaround for the 19-year old after he struggled in '09 to the tune of a .202 batting average and sub-600 OPS.
But Consigli's first two months in Burlington have been a learning process as he faces pitchers with a greater array of offerings.
"Rookie ball is all about flamethrowers and guys who can throw it as hard as they can and don't know where it's going," Consigli said.
"At Low-A, guys are relying not only on their fastball but also on their off-speed too. If you have a weakness, they're going to find it. For the most part, I've been able to stay back, see the ball and try to hit it."
As he sees more pitches as an everyday member of the Bees' lineup, Consigli is hoping for improvement in the second half of the season.
"I'm still a diamond in the rough, but guys have worked with me, took the time, and it's starting to pay off," Consigli said.
"The only way to get better is by playing and with that comes experience. That's pretty much what I need – more experience to make it to the next level."
Consigli will be given plenty of time to master the craft of professional ballplayer, as the 19-year old is still relatively young for the Midwest League.