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Positivity paying off for D-backs' Montero

Positivity paying off for D-backs' Montero

PHOENIX -- It is a small sample size, to be sure, but after the way he struggled last year, D-backs catcher Miguel Montero will take all the positive results he can get.

Through the first four games of the season, Montero hit .357 and had shown great patience at the plate in drawing four walks while striking out just once.

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"I feel my confidence is there," Montero said. "I'm just trying to get on base, to get a good pitch to hit, trying to not give away at-bats in the first pitch or second pitch. Be ready to hit -- if it's a good pitch, just take a good swing; if it's not a good pitch, just take it."

Montero got off to a slow start last year and it snowballed on him.

As the season wore on, he tried harder and harder and found himself overswinging. He wound up hitting just .230 with 110 strikeouts and 51 walks in 413 at-bats.

When Spring Training started, Montero was still doubting himself, and after a few games early on, he sat down with mental performance coach Peter Crone, who helped Montero start fresh.

"I told him I was probably scared to fail again and I don't want to fail again," Montero said. "That was a good talk, probably a 20-minute talk, and you know what, the next day I felt so much different, I did. I felt so much different. For me, staying strong mentally is more important than going and playing and having a good at-bat, because if you go and play and don't have a good at-bat but you're still positive, there's a good chance that you're going to do something good later in the game."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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