Alex Dickerson's worst batting average in a month last year with Bradenton was April, when he hit .256.
He finished the season as the as the Florida State League Player of the Year.
This year, though, he has struggled much more early, hitting .190.
Despite a slow start this year in his first year in Double-A, Dickerson is trying to turn his season around like he did last year. He finished with 90 RBIs, good for second in the Florida State League.
"Really it's just about keeping the same mindset for a whole season," Dickerson, taken in third round of the 2011 draft, said. "Last year I was brutal for pretty much the whole first half. Now I'm that I'm at a new level, it's the same adjustment. You are going to get beat down. You've got to build your way back up."
In 34 games with the Curve, he's not only hitting below .200, he also has struck out 34 times. He also has only 11 RBIs, far less than his 90 RBIs pace of last season.
Covering the bases
LEADING OFF: The Curve were off Monday and begin a three-game series against Trenton tonight at 6:30 at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
SAFE AT FIRST: Tonight's pitchers: Curve RHP Luis Sanz (1-1, 3.78) vs. Thunder LHP Nik Turley (3-2, 4.98).
STEALING SECOND: In light of the Blue Jays' J.A. Happ getting hit in the head by a line drive last week, Curve RHP Jameson Taillon was asked about pitcher safety. "I guess it's in the back of your head," said Taillon, who who was hit by a comebacker two starts ago. "You think about it more whenever you're not pitching, and you see it happen to other guys. But when you're out there, I don't think about it at all."
ROUNDING THIRD: Taillon also was asked about one proposal that's been addressed recently about pitchers wearing padded caps for protection. "If it keeps them safe, keeps them healthy, I guess there would be a benefit to it," Taillon said. "But I don't think I'd like it too much if it were real heavy on your head. But if they can find a way to make it light and protective I'd be for it."
HEADING HOME: At 16-21, the Curve no longer have the worst record in the Eastern League. Reading was the worst at 14-21 entering play Monday.
- Cory Giger
One of Dickerson's biggest supporters is the man who was with him last year and now this year, Curve manager Carlos Garcia.
Garcia was the Marauders' manager last year and said he is confident Dickerson's hard-nose attitude will help him get past his current struggles at the plate.
"Every time you go to a new league, it is an adjustment period," Garcia said. "Right now, he is getting his feet wet into the league, but I have confidence in him."
According to Dickerson and Garcia, the outfielder's switch from first base last year to outfield this year shouldn't have any effect on him at the plate. Dickerson said he had played outfield all the way up until becoming a professional baseball player.
"I'm actually more comfortable out there," he said of being in the outfield.
Another area that could be a cause for Dickerson's early woes is his swing.
"Right now I'm looking at my swing where I'm comfortable for four [at-bats]," the 6-foot-3 Dickerson said. "It's been a weird year for me as far as having two at-bats where I felt good and having two at-bats where I don't. I'm getting there."
Dickerson's May numbers have shown he is adjusting.
So far in this month, he's improved his batting average slightly to .200, compared to .185 in April. But his strikeout woes have continued. He had 20 strikeouts through April and already has 14 this month.
"This is a level where you are going to face a guy who was in Triple-A, sometimes in the big leagues," his manager said. "They kind of work you around. You've just got to be patient and make sure they give you good pitches to hit and go and get it."
Dickerson has been moved around the batting order this year. He batted in the four spot every one of his 488 at-bats last year. This year he has batted in every spot but lead-off, fourth and eighth.
He has succeeded the most in the sixth spot, where he has also hit the most. Batting sixth in 59 at-bats, Dickerson has a .220 average. He has driven in five runs in the six hole, and his OPS is .677.
Dickerson's best idea on turning his struggles around is feeling like he did when he was the Florida State League Player of the Year.
"Last year, even when I was struggling, I would have a three-hit day," he said. "Here, the defense is so good, you don't get any of those. Right now, it's just stepping back into the box and feeling like myself."