ATLANTA -- Blessed with speed, athleticism and the kind of power you wouldn't expect from a guy who might make Jose Altuve feel tall, Ozzie Albies has spent the past three weeks tackling the challenges that have arisen since he made his much-anticipated Major League debut on Aug. 1.As Albies
ATLANTA -- Blessed with speed, athleticism and the kind of power you wouldn't expect from a guy who might make Jose Altuve feel tall, Ozzie Albies has spent the past three weeks tackling the challenges that have arisen since he made his much-anticipated Major League debut on Aug. 1.
As Albies progressed through his first two weeks as a big leaguer, he showed why some scouts were concerned about his swing from the left side of the plate. But the 20-year-old second baseman's determination to adjust has seemingly started to pay dividends as he notched his third multi-hit game within a five-game span during Monday's 6-5 loss to the Mariners at SunTrust Park.
"I believe in myself and I know I can do it," Albies said. "So, I'm going to keep it going."
There has never been reason to question the will possessed by Albies, whose mental strength was certainly tested as he recorded just four hits through his first 24 big league at-bats and produced a .170 (8-for-47) batting average through his first 14 games.
• Cut4: Albies' throw goes way off target
Suddenly, critics were scrutinizing the switch-hitter's exaggerated leg kick from the left side and wondering if he was physically ready to compete at the game's highest level. But the Curacao native hasn't allowed his early struggles to deter him as he has ardently worked with hitting coach Kevin Seitzer on a daily basis to refine his approach.
"He's working really hard, he and Seitz," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "They're making some adjustments. He's working hard down there. This is his first crack at Major League pitching. Regardless of how well you do down there, you get up here and you might find you need to do something a little different to succeed here. He's working hard to do that. The last few days, I've seen good results."
Albies' confidence has certainly been fortified as he has hit .350 (7-for-20) with two doubles and three triples over his past five games. In the process of completing a two-run triple during Monday night's sixth inning, he showed off his speed.
Per Statcast™'s, he covers 28.7 feet per second -- this ranks second to Danny Santana (28.8) on the team.
"He's an exciting little player," Snitker said. "He's got skills and can do a lot of things."
Albies entered last Wednesday hitting .158 (6-for-38) with seven strikeouts against right-handed pitchers. Recognizing that he was frequently getting under pitches, he continued to work to improve the timing of his swing. He has since batted .353 (6-for-17) with five extra-base hits from the left side of the plate.
"I feel pretty good right now," Albies said. "I'm staying through the zone and trying to hit low line drives. Then, whatever happens, happens."
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.