SPRINGDALE (KFSM)--The journey through the minor league's is more often than not arduous. Players must work through five levels of baseball just to make it to the major leagues. But Nick Dini's jump from low A baseball in Lexington to AA in Arkansas is almost unprecedented.
"It's been different coming from low A to AA it's been a bit of an adjustment. But it's awesome, everything's a lot better, better baseball, it's an awesome city and the team's really welcomed me in," Dini said.
A fourteenth round pick of the Royals in 2015, Dini had spent his minor league career between Idaho Falls (Rookie), Lexington (A) and Wilmington (Advanced A). Prior to his promotion to Northwest Arkansas, an influx of younger players hit Lexington.
"When you're twenty three you're the oldest guy there but then you come here and you're playing with guys your age. And everybody's just a little bit more polished."
Teammate and roommate Jake Kalish is close with Dini, as both grew up playing baseball in New Jersey.
"He's a good player and he can hit as well as catch, and when he was coming here I was just very excited for him," Kalish said.
One of Dini's biggest adjustments was seeing the ball better, according to Kalish. "The strike zone here and it being a little more true and maybe even a little bit smaller, he sees pitches that are out of the zone or borderline pitch, he's not swinging at it."
"You gotta adjust quick, it's a business and you gotta show results. For me it's just been come in here, play my game and do what I can to help the team win. You know luckily I've been able to get off to a pretty good start." Dini added.
The 23-year-old is hitting .483 through his first nine games as a Natural, with fourteen hits, three runs, four RBI, and just two strikeouts to four walks.