When Michael Siani steps to the plate, he's not too concerned with how many hits he's had or how many he could potentially have. For him, it's all about piecing together quality at-bats that will lead to success. And more often than not lately, his good at-bats have produced knocks.The
When Michael Siani steps to the plate, he's not too concerned with how many hits he's had or how many he could potentially have. For him, it's all about piecing together quality at-bats that will lead to success. And more often than not lately, his good at-bats have produced knocks.
The sixth-ranked Reds prospect delivered his second-four hit performance in five days, driving in one run and scoring another to lead Class A Dayton past West Michigan, 5-4, on Tuesday at Fifth Third Field.
After an 0-for-3 effort on June 2, Siani saw his average slide to .190. But he's turned a corner with hits in seven of the last nine games, including six straight. And with a pair of four-hit games and five multi-hit efforts during that stretch, he's bumped his average to .239.
"I'm just trying to be as confident as I can, having a good discipline up there," Siani said. "It's just trusting my approach and putting the barrel on the ball, and the results have been good. I've just got to keep it rolling."
The Pennsylvania native has recorded 11 multi-hit games this season, helping raise his average by 74 points since the end of April. It's taken some time to get the numbers turned around in full-season ball, but Siani has found a sweet spot over the last week or so. Hitting .609 during the streak has helped his numbers and has been the result of the process he's stuck with this year.
Whether it's been Dayton hitting coach Mike Devereaux or the rest of the staff providing tips, Siani has been absorbing the information and finally seeing the hits fall. It's been about keeping each at-bat simple as opposed to overthinking each pitch or potential outcome.
"Not trying to prepare for every single situation, just try to lock in on a certain pitch, a certain spot," Siani said. "Make sure when I get that pitch that it's in that area that I execute and do what I can with it. Just battle and be confident in what I'm doing.
"Mike's helped my mind-set going into at-bats, again just trying to keep it simple and get the pitch that I want. Make sure that I don't miss it. ... Everyone's been kind of helping me out, helping the guys out and everybody's been putting up good numbers right now."
Coming into the night, Siani was hitting .175 when down in the count. But in three of his four at-bats, he fell behind and delivered a hit. Twice, he got into a two-strike count and singled.
"I definitely shorten up a little bit, I think I widen my stance a little to protect the inside half a little more," he said. "I just choke up a little bit and make sure that I'm seeing the ball up. Usually with two strikes I'm getting a lot of off-speed, so l'm making sure I can put the bat on borderline pitches and just attacking any ball that's in the zone."
The 19-year-old led off the first inning against Adam Wolf and went back up the middle for his first knock, although he was thrown out trying to steal second.
Gameday box score
In the third, Siani pulled a single through the right side and scored two batters later when Jay Schuyler ripped a double to right field. The 2018 fourth-round pick stayed involved in the scoring when he lined a single to center in the fourth to plate Randy Ventura.
Down in the count, 0-2, against reliever Drew Crosby in the seventh, Siani went the other way for his fourth hit of the game.
"I don't really think about as many hits as I can have in a game," Siani said. "Obviously getting three, four hits a game is great and it's something you want to strive for every day. Obviously, that's not always going to be the case, it's not going to happen every day. It's a cool feeling, so hopefully, there's more of that to come."
After his selection in last year's Draft, Siani batted .288/.351/.386 with 11 extra-base hits in 46 games in for Rookie Advanced Greeneville. Through 54 Midwest League contests, he has 11 extra-base hits -- including four homers -- and a .688 OPS.
"Just trying not to overthink and not trying to do too much," he said. "Obviously, I'm not going to get a hit every at-bat, there's going to be games where I start off 0-for-1, 0-for-2 and the at-bats at the end of the game are ones where I have to be disciplined and make sure I get a good pitch to it and not try to do too much and try to force myself to get a hit."
Eduardo Salazar (4-0) allowed a run on three hits in three innings out of the bullpen as the Dragons reeled off their ninth consecutive win. Eddy Demurias recorded his second save, despite giving up a run on three hits in the ninth.
Andrew Battifarano is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter, @AndrewAtBatt.