"I struggled a lot at the beginning, and now I'm just trying to start getting my timing back, trying to pick it back up, and hopefully everything will go well from here," Austin Krum said.
"Just the way I was timing my pitches, my timing was really off, and I was either way ahead of the pitch or way behind, and that just [improves] with repetition," he added. "Every time it gets better, the more you see pitchers on a day-to-day basis. And if you have good timing you're probably going to be a pretty good hitter."
The Yankees' ninth round pick has struggled since coming to terms with the organization in June, hitting just .206 in his first 21 professional baseball games — though after recording one hit in three at-bats Sunday, Krum has hit safely in five straight games.
Like many players coming out of college, Krum said the biggest adjustment so far has been getting accustomed to swinging the lumber.
"The first difference between college and here is that you have to use wood bats, and it's a big transition," he said. "You can get away with a lot more using a metal bat than with using the wood, so with that you have to go up there and do your job and hopefully get as many hits as you can."
The 21-year-old lefty swinger said the combination of the wood bat and the consistently higher pitching velocity has affected his timing coming off two weeks of baseball inactivity after the end of the college season.
"Night in and night out you're going to get a pitcher that rings it up in the low-90's, whereas in college you'd see maybe one guy per week that does that," said Krum. "So that's a big adjustment you have to make."
"And just getting the timing back from the time that we ended the season in college, we had a couple weeks off, and now we're back out here doing it again. You kind of lose some of the flow and the rhythm of your at-bats, so with more experience, your timing becomes better."
Krum has been taking extra swings both in batting practice and in the indoor cage, as he tries to regain the stroke that made him a dynamic run producer for the Dallas Baptist Patriots.
"My load tends to get exaggerated, and that's why my timing is off and my balance is not right, so I think if I can maintain my balance from the start of the swing, that's probably one of the big things I'm going to have to work on, and I look forward to doing that," he said.
Krum said he has tried to take a new approach at the plate since coming to professional baseball, working on playing small ball in Staten Island in situations where he would have been more inclined to try to drive the ball in with Dallas Baptist.
"Usually in college you can get away with trying to drive the ball, trying to have a big or longer swing, and the metal bats are a lot more forgiving," he said. "Here you have to be able to use the whole field and hit the ball where it's pitched, instead of trying to pull everything or hit everything to one side of the field."
"You use also kind of a small ball thing too, just trying to bunt to get on base, and use that as a weapon too. If you want to be as successful or be more successful at the next level, you have to have all your tools working better for you," Krum said. "You kind of take it for granted in college because you might not use it as much as you do out here, so you definitely have to practice that and get better at it every step, because the competition gets better and better."
Despite his struggles at the dish early in his professional career, Krum has been keeping an upbeat attitude, saying that the opportunity to play every day for the Yankees organization instead of four times a week at most in college has been enough of a reason to keep him going.
"It's been awesome," Krum said. "It's been a great experience for not only myself but for a lot of us, and I'm just trying to get acclimated with the wood, getting acclimated with one another and making the transition from college ball to pro ball. And obviously you're going to have your struggles, but it's been a great experience so far."
Krum Working On His Timing
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