You don’t pick the team that drafts you, and you don’t pick the team you might get traded to. Binghamton Mets first baseman Allan Dykstra learned that first-hand.
San Diego is his home, the Padres his childhood. And being drafted by the team that he’d grown up watching made the dream of playing baseball for a living even better. When the day came to put that behind him, he experienced conflicting emotions.
“That was really hard and definitely hit me by surprise,” said Dykstra last week, when the B-Mets visited the Trenton Thunder. “At the same time, it gave me a fresh start because it just didn’t seem like things were going to work out with them.”
Dykstra, 26, was traded to the Mets in exchange for Eddie Kunz in 2011, and spent the entire season with Binghamton. Regardless of the adjustments he had to make in switching teams and allegiance, he put up strong numbers that season. He finished the season hitting .267, with 104 hits, 77 RBI, and 69 walks in 121 games.
That season was followed by a thud. Due to a fractured forearm suffered in April, Dykstra would be limited to 62 games in 2012. The two months on the DL was a growing experience for him. The down time gave him something extra to play for. It was a chance to push himself.
“That gave me more fuel. It was a bummer,” he recalled. “I couldn’t do a lot mid-year, so it just made me want to go one-hundred percent in Spring Training, and come into this season ready.”
So far, he’s put that fuel to maximum use, hitting .318 on the season with 42 RBI through 56 games with Binghamton. Dykstra is having a particularly hot June and is currently the owner of a .406 average and 13 hits through 32 at-bats.
“The older you get, the more confident approach you develop at the plate,” he explained, “and this year, that’s even carried over into having more of a leadership role on the team.”
Dykstra attended Wake Forest University, where he was named ACC Rookie of the Year…Named Padres Organizational All-Star in 2011…Played in the Cape Cod League for the Chatam A’s in 2007 and made the league All-Star team…He was drafted by the Red Sox in 2005 in the 34th round, but opted not to sign.