Dykstra Enjoying a Change In Scenery

Dykstra Enjoying a Change In Scenery

BINGHAMTON, NY - Minor league trades are not often completed to fill a need. However, heading into 2011, the B-Mets were in need for a first baseman. The result? The swap of former first round pick Eddie Kunz to the Padres for Allan Dykstra - himself a former first round pick. Now Dykstra is in Binghamton where he would like to make the most of his new surroundings.

Selected by San Diego in the first round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, Binghamton Mets first baseman Allan Dykstra spent three seasons in the Padres organization before being acquired by the Mets this offseason.

Dykstra was traded from the Padres in exchange for right-hander and former top pick pitcher Eddie Kunz -- who was maligned for poor performances -- on March 29, and in just a month and a half has adjusted to a new system.

"It was nice to get a fresh start, and it's always nice to be somewhere that they want you to be there and they asked for you and traded for you," Dykstra said. "It's definitely great for confidence, and the coaches here have really helped me a lot with my swing, so it feels good to start over. "

A trade late in the offseason gave him little time to acclimate, but the 24-year old quickly adapted, crediting an easy transition to his new surrounding cast.

"It's definitely going pretty good; it's a good fresh start," he said. "Coming in here, the coaches are great, and everything's been good so far so it's made the adjustment a lot easier."

After opening the season 1-for-13 from the plate, Dykstra has found an offensive rhythm. Through 29 games and 89 at-bats, his average stands at .270 including four home runs and 10 RBI.

Working with B-Mets hitting coach Luis Natera, Dykstra has been able to make some swing adjustments to increase his production.

"[I'm working on] making my swing more fluid, and being quick with my hands," he said. "I'm using more of my hands now than I did in the past. I've been working a lot to get them in the right position when I swing. I think I've been making pretty good contact and having good at-bats, but it's just a matter of being comfortable."

For Dykstra, being consistent has been the main goal. At times, he describes how he "bars back and drags through the zone," but has worked to move past his old tendencies.

"Sometimes I don't do the right thing, and I'll go back to my old habits," he said. "But I'm working on being consistent."

At first base, Dykstra has worked with the B-Mets coaching staff to improve his game, making various changes to progress as a fielder.

"They've switched a couple of things for me, holding runners on with different footworks, I've been working on that," he said. "You've got to go out there and stay consistent. For me that's the biggest thing right now, going out there and doing the right thing over and over."

"Every day you work on it and make emphasis on what you're trying to do, but so far things are going pretty good," he continued. "You go out there every day and work on footwork. You can take a million ground balls, but you've got to do them right. Just go out there every day."

Consistency has been Dykstra's ultimate goal this season, both at the plate and in the field, and though the numbers are important, continuing to progress has been the main focus.

"You want to set goals statistically, but it's hard to compare yourself to a different player from a different team in a different league because it's different circumstances," he said. "Improving every day is my goal, and going out there every day and making sure the work's getting done."

While the transition to Binghamton has been a relatively smooth one, there has been one minor setback.

"The weather, that's the biggest change for me," Dykstra joked as the B-Mets have already had six games rescheduled due to rain. "But baseball is baseball no matter where you play; you've still got to go out there."

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