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Home Not So Sweet Home For Malek
"Usually you hit for a high average when you're at home where you're most comfortable," said hitting coach John Valentin. "A better average on the road is surprising."
Bobby Malek, who boasts a .304 average in 59 road games, feels it is what he does before the games that attributes to his on-field success.
"I'm trying to change my pre-game routine at home to get it more like a road game," said the Michigan native. "Sometimes, I hit too much before a home game because we have the cages here plus I sit around in between BP's so I try now to keep my body more active."
Overall in 116 games, Malek boasted a .277 average last season with 4 HR and 37 RBI. He scored 47 runs and had 109 hits, 23 of them for doubles.
"I bring a lot to the table, I steal bases, hit for average, hit some home runs," said the left-handed hitter. "I have a pretty good arm as well, that's my game breaker, opposing third base coaches usually hold the runners against me."
In Malek's 2004 season in St. Lucie (A), his offensive numbers looked promising as he hit 13 HR and 58 RBI in 111 games. However in AA, Malek has seen his offensive numbers take a staggering decline.
"It's just about making adjustments," said manager Juan Samuel. "This is not an easy league, some guys simply mature faster than others."
Whether Malek advances to Triple AAA this year remains questionable. However with help from John Valentin, Malek hopes to rediscover his offensive form that produced solid numbers in St. Lucie.
"John tells me to be aggressive on the fastball, but to also be aware that the pitcher is going to throw a breaking ball early in the count," said Malek. "I cant chase them rather get myself in a better hitting count to get that fastball."
In 2002, Malek was named co-Big Ten Player of the Year for the Michigan State Spartans. He became the first All-American from MSU since Kirk Gibson in 1978. Now in his second season in Binghamton, Malek hopes to translate that success to the big leagues.
"I just look at myself and try to be the best player I can be," said Malek. "I had a good college career and I'm just trying to put that to use here."
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