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Dietrich remaining patient amid growing pains

Dietrich remaining patient amid growing pains

Dietrich remaining patient amid growing pains

MIAMI -- Educated at Georgia Tech University, Derek Dietrich has a pretty good understanding of baseball.

A quick learner, Dietrich now has 40 games of big league experience under his belt. And the 23-year-old rookie second baseman realizes that sometimes you can get in trouble by over-analyzing situations.

"I'm working on really relaxing and not trying to do too much," Dietrich said. "Taking what they are giving to me. Slowly, I'm making the adjustments. I just have to get in there, be ready and not think too much."

Dietrich is going through his share of growing pains. His batting average is now an even .200 in 150 big league at-bats. But the left-handed hitter is a threat, as he showed in Tuesday's 4-2 win over the Twins.

Dietrich connected on his seventh home run of the season. Ironically, four of them have been off left-handed pitching.

The Marlins acquired Dietrich from the Rays last December for Yunel Escobar. He is making a case for being the team's second baseman of the future.

Part of his progression is dealing with streaks and slumps.

"When they start making adjustments to you, the first thing you think is, 'What do I got to do? What do I got to do?' You start thinking a little too much," he said. "I just have to get back to just being ready to hit. Seeing the ball and hitting the ball, and not trying to do too much."

A few weeks ago, Dietrich was batting third. But now with Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison back in the lineup, the rookie second baseman is hitting at the bottom of the order.

"There are guys from the top to bottom of this lineup who can put runs across and drive guys in," Dietrich said. "It definitely makes it easier. We've got a lot of good guys in this clubhouse who have been very helpful, and they've helped me with the adjustments, too. I'm looking to forward to going out there and competing every day."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter Less

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