The first 73 games of the 2011 season did not go exactly the way Aeros third baseman Kyle Bellows wanted them to.
Bellows struggled at bat in his inaugural season in Double-A baseball, but his defense remained steady.
A little extra work with coaches and a couple of minor adjustments have lifted his batting average from .209 on July 14 to .234 entering Wednesday’s matchup with the Harrisburg Senators at Canal Park.
“I have put in a lot of hard work,” said Bellows, who turns 23 on Friday. “I got off to a rough start, but all the coordinators and coaches here have helped me get back on track.
“I am a little more upright [in the batter’s box] than I was earlier in the season. I am in a comfortable place and it seems to be working.”
Bellows entered Wednesday hitting .292 (31-for-106) over his past 30 games with two home runs, three doubles and 15 runs batted in. He batted .209 (53-for-253) in his first 73 games with one home run, 16 doubles, two triples and 25 runs batted in.
“Kyle has done a nice job the second half of the season,” Aeros manager Chris Tremie said. “He made some adjustments and continued to stay focused on his defense. Regardless of his offense, he played really good defense during the course of the first half and has continued that in the second half as well. He is having a very productive second half the season.”
Bellows credited Tremie and Aeros coaches Rouglas Odor and Tony Arnold, along with others in the Cleveland Indians organization.
“The only thing I talked to Kyle about was to get comfortable,” Tremie said. “There were some minor adjustments that the coordinators had talked to him about and that he wanted to make himself. We did a good job communicating with him. He has taken information, taken his ability, taken his work ethic and taken his practice and applied it. He has done a very good job.”
Bellows batted sixth in the Aeros lineup Wednesday. He came into the game with seven hits, three runs batted in and two runs scored in his previous six games.
“He did a great job of handling some adversity through the first part of the season,” Tremie said. “He was not having the success that he wanted to have, but he continued to work, listen and apply things. The results speak for themselves.”
The Indians selected Bellows in the fourth round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft out of San Jose State University. He batted .240 in 54 games in 2009 at Mahoning Valley and .253 in 124 games in 2010 at Kinston.
“It seems that with my pro career I have gotten off to slow starts, but I have gotten the hang of things as I go on,” Bellows said. “I understand there is going to be a learning curve, but this year it took me a little longer than I wanted.
“Pitchers come after you with strikes and you have to be ready to hit. You might get one real good pitch to hit in an at bat and you have to be ready to put a good swing on it. If you don’t hit it, it’s tough.”