According to Marc Krauss, a change of scenery is sometimes all that's needed to get you going. It's safe to assume he's speaking from experience.
Krauss hit his fifth homer in five games since he was acquired from the D-backs and collected six RBIs on Saturday as Double-A Corpus Christi used an 11-run ninth inning to rout the Midland RockHounds, 17-6.
The Hooks became the first Texas League team to score 11 runs in the ninth since Fort Worth in 1937. And Krauss enjoyed another big game for his new team.
"It was awesome. We had a good time, obviously," he said. "It was just one of those things where hitting is contagious, everybody is getting on base and nobody wanted to be the last out.
"I'm feeling good, seeing the ball well and I've been able to drive it and have success that way. I'm able to help the team drive in some runs in the middle of that lineup; so far, so good."
In five games with the Hooks, the 24-year-old outfielder is hitting .409 with seven extra-base hits, 15 RBIs and a 1.182 slugging percentage. Before the trade, he was batting .283 with 15 homers, 61 RBIs, a .416 on-base percentage and .509 slugging mark for Double-A Mobile.
The 2009 second-round pick, like many of the prospects Houston brought in through a flurry of pre-deadline deals, said it was initially difficult to process being traded for the first time. After that, it was exciting to be part of an organization that seems focused on rebuilding and giving young players a chance, he said.
"You always know the possibility to be traded is out there, but you never really think it's going to happen. The Diamondbacks' farm director called me, said I was traded to the Astros, wished me luck, and a lot of things were going through my mind like, 'What's the next step? Where am I going? What happens?' At first, I guess I was probably a little nervous.
"But I'm really excited now here with the new organization. They're trying to go young and turn things around. The dream goal of everybody in the Minors is to get to the big leagues and a lot of guys know they have that chance. And they're feeding off it."
Bobby Bochering was acquired with Krauss for third baseman Chris Johnson. He went 4-for-5 with a pair of homers, a double and four RBIs on Saturday. The 16th overall pick in the 2009 Draft also has taken to the Astros organization, hitting .400 with three homers, 10 RBIs and a .950 slugging percentage in six games.
Borchering also has shifted back to his natural position at third base after playing the outfield all season in the Arizona system.
"He's a guy that I had known for a few years, we were drafted together, so that did make it a lot easier," Krauss said. "He's been lights-out since he's been traded. Sometimes you need that change of scenery to get back, and he's been on fire lately. I think he feels more relaxed, and he's excited to be back at third base."
For Krauss and Borchering, the new environment appears to be serving them well.
"In Corpus, especially, there's a lot of new guys in the last few weeks and we're coming together, coming to know each other. We can do some special things in the Texas League and hopefully beyond in the future," Krauss said.
Jose Martinez went 4-for-6 with a pair of RBIs and two runs scored, while Andrew Simunic tripled, doubled and plated two runs for the Hooks.