March 1, 2013
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa sophomore Kris Goodman is off to the best start of his collegiate career and the success is due to a refined approach at the plate.
After hitting .192 his true freshman season, the outfielder has nearly matched his 2012 hit total (14) in the first six games. He is leading the team with a .458 batting average, recording 11 hits in 24 at-bats and is riding a career-best six-game hitting streak.
“During the summer in Hannibal (in the Prospect League), I was focused on getting an approach that would be good for me,” said Goodman. “Being aggressive and looking at locations in the zone instead of trying to cover the whole plate. I am trying to simplify the game and hit the ball where it’s pitched.”
Goodman opened the season by hitting .500 (5-of-10) in the opening three-game series at Austin Peay. He stayed hot, going 6-of-14 (.429) in helping Iowa take 2-of-3 games at the Kleberg Bank College Classic. He was named to the all-tournament team, after leading Iowa to wins over New Mexico — a sleeper team by Baseball America for the College World Series — and Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
“I know my approach and am sticking to it, no matter what position I am in the lineup. I am studying what the pitcher is trying to do to me and looking at what he does to other guys.”
Sophomore Kris Goodman
Goodman is focused on maintaining the same approach, regardless of where he’s batting in the order.
“I know my approach and am sticking to it, no matter what position I am in the lineup,” said Goodman. “I am studying what the pitcher is trying to do to me and looking at what he does to other guys.”
Goodman has a team-best three multi-hit games, including a pair of three-hit contests. He had three singles in Iowa’s 13-1 victory over Austin Peay on Feb. 16 before matching the feat against No. 14 Oklahoma.
After seeing his name at the bottom of the order during the team’s first four games, Goodman was inserted into the lead-off position Feb. 23 against the Lobos. He says the shake-up in the order would have affected him a season ago.
“As a younger player, before this year, it would have made a difference,” he said. “A lot of people try to change their approach, and that’s one thing I didn’t want to do. I have been being aggressive, and since it is working for me, there was no need to change.”
Goodman says first-year hitting coach Zach Dillon has been beneficial in his development.
“A lot of the drills we started doing with coach Dillon focuses on our hands,” said Goodman. “Eliminating the lower half and focusing on throwing our hands at the baseball and barreling the balls up. When it gets to two strikes, or a tough spot, I can rely on my hands and trust it.”
With the team’s 3-3 start being the best for the program since 2010, Goodman says the Hawkeyes are sticking to their “in the moment” approach heading into their four games this weekend in Little Rock, Ark.
“We’re focusing on one pitch at a time, one game at a time,” he said. “We’re not looking too far ahead. It’s a great opportunity, and we could be sitting pretty well, but for us to be successful, we need to focus on the Friday game and take care of business there.”
Iowa opens the weekend facing UALR today at 3 p.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes play Western Illinois (11 a.m.) and UALR (3 p.m.) in a Saturday doubleheader before closing out play against Wichita State at 10 a.m. Sunday.