There may not be much more hand-wringing over Taylor Lindsey's hands.
Lindsey, the Arkansas Travelers second baseman and No. 4 Angels prospect, made some tweaks to his somewhat unorthodox batting stance -- mostly involving where he positions his hands at the start of his stance -- and he's responded with some career power numbers during his first taste of Double-A.
The 37th overall pick in the 2010 Draft, Lindsey is batting .278 and already has 13 home runs after going deep nine times in each of his past two seasons.
"I got stronger this year," said the 21-year-old. "I'm just hitting the ball harder. But that's baseball -- sometimes the ball flies, sometimes it won't find the hole. That's how it goes."
Lindsey was a supplemental first-round pick out of high school in Scottsdale, Ariz., but growing up in the heart of the Cactus League didn't cause him to fall in love with a specific club that trained in the area -- like the Angels, for example -- but it certainly helped whet his appetite for pro ball.
"It was a dream as a kid to be up there, and I didn't care what team got me," he said. "I was going to go out there and play every day and play as hard as I can and just work my way up the ladder and see how it goes."
Lindsey, who signed for $873,000, may have been something of a surprise pick at the time, but he responded with an MVP season for Orem in the Pioneer League and then skipped Class A to bat .289 in the California League, setting the table for his promotion to Arkansas to start this year.
"It's nice to hear all that," Lindsey said of being on an apparent fast track. "But I still have to go out there each day and prove I can hit and play the field and run and do all that stuff. It's still just me, every day, the same guy I've always been. I just go out there and play and have fun like I always do."
While he has good enough hands to play the infield, where to use those hands at the plate has been a work-in-progress. Lindsey likes to dig in with his hands low and then raise them late as he starts his swing. The Angels have been working with him to start with his hands higher.
Lindsey praised the Travelers staff and said he's incorporated some of the pointers without sacrificing any comfort.
"It's a mixture of both, but pretty much they left me alone to do what I want," Lindsey said.
Whatever adjustments he's made, Lindsey has found more power, even in the spacious confines of North Little Rock's Dickey-Stephens Park, where the left-center field gap is 410 feet and straightaway center is 400.
"If it goes down the lines, you've got a chance," said Lindsey, who has five homers at home.
Lindsey was a high school shortstop who's played only second as a pro. But he's mastering the mirror-reverse pivots well enough to be considered a prospect, hands up or hands down.
"It's an honor to be noticed like that," he said. "It's just baseball. You've got to have fun with the game, and good things happen if you have fun."
Major influence: Texas Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis made a rehab start Sunday with the Frisco RoughRiders against San Antonio, while San Antonio countered with former Detroit Tigers knuckleballer Eddie Bonine. Both struck out five over five innings as Lewis gave up three runs on four hits and Bonine yielded two runs on eight hits in Frisco's 8-3 victory.
Pitching in: Northwest Arkansas may lead the North Division, despite having the league's highest ERA (4.45), but new arrival Kyle Zimmer is doing his part to decrease that figure. The Kansas City Royals' top pitching prospect is 2-0 with an 0.00 ERA and 19 strikeouts over two starts.
Heating up: Johan Limonta's RBI double against Frisco in the bottom of the 10th inning Saturday gave the San Antonio Missions their 17th victory in July, the club's best monthly performance since posting 20 wins in August 2011. The torrid pace is setting the stage for an exciting stretch as the Missions and Corpus Christi Hooks, the first-half champions, hold identical 22-15 records atop the division and meet for a three-game series this week in San Antonio.