"I think it (spring training) went ok, I didn't really know what to expect," Kyle Roller said. "It really opened my eyes and showed me what I need to work on to play every day."
After finishing his first Spring Training and with the regular season fast approaching, the product of East Carolina University really focused on his approach at the plate.
"During the spring I was trying to find my swing as soon as possible, I worked on it all offseason. During practice, in the cage, I always tried to have a bat in my hands."
Finishing last season batting only .272 along with 5 home runs, Roller has raised that average to .312 and also has six home runs so far this season [five of which have come in the past 10 games], already eclipsing last year's home run total.
Gregg Colbrunn, the hitting Coach for the Charleston RiverDogs, knew Roller was capable of this kind of power, it was just a question of when it would show up.
"He is a very strong guy, we just have to keep working hard in practice and eventually that power will transition into these game situations," Colbrunn said.
Obviously after hitting zero home runs in his first 15 games, and now blasting five long balls in the last ten, the long expected power has finally arrived.
The hard hitting first baseman is also working on improving defensively to go along with this late power surge. The 23 year old native of Rockingham, NC, approaches each practice with the same mentality.
"I haven't played there a lot, so right now I'm trying to get more and more comfortable, each time I go out there I seem to feel better," Roller said. "I want to stay within myself as a player, I don't want to try to do too much."
Roller has also had to battle some injuries so far this season. He had to deal with a strained quad, which landed him a stint on the disabled list.
"They didn't want to take any risks, so they put me on the DL. That gave me some time to rest and now I'm ready to go."
He was right about that, since returning to the lineup, the eighth round pick of 2010 has also had six doubles and has also added 15 RBI to his credit. So after shaking off his early season struggles Roller has righted the ship and if he continues to work hard in practice he will be able to stay on this mid-season tear.
Roller Picking His Game Up
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