PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Garin Cecchini had always succeeded. It was a simple formula: Apply hard work to his talent and positive results followed.

So what’s he doing batting .197 in Pawtucket?

Ask Cecchini, who always tries to sound upbeat, and the expression becomes pained.

“There’s an adjustment period I’m going through right now,” he said last week. “As hard as it is for those words to come out of my mouth.”

Cecchini, 24, has hit that wall so many prospects run into. Outfielder Jackie Bradley looked golden after the 2012 season but struggled the past two years – in part because he was rushed to the majors – and now finally seems on track for a big-league career.

Others like Cecchini and infielder Sean Coyle, 23, are trying to figure it out in Pawtucket. Coyle is batting .207 after missing a month with elbow inflammation – another in a long line of injuries he’s fought through.

“I’m learning how to play a little banged up. Hopefully down the road it helps me out,” Coyle said. “I try not to get caught up in the numbers. I try to immerse myself in the process.”

Cecchini and Coyle were hot prospects out of high school, drafted by Boston in 2010 and both awarded signing bonuses in the $1.3 million range.

Cecchini, who had a gaudy .737 on-base percentage in high school, zoomed through the Red Sox system, batting .298 in Lowell, .305 in Greenville and .350 in Salem. Cecchini stopped by Portland for 66 games in 2013, batting .296 with an .824 OPS (.420 on-base percentage and .404 slugging average).

Cecchini was placed on Boston’s 40-man roster and sent to Pawtucket last year. He batted .301 his first month but then slowed, recording a .263 average/.712 OPS. He got a taste of the majors, playing 11 games (.258).

Meanwhile, Coyle had his best season last year, batting .295/.883 for the Sea Dogs, though limited to 96 games because of injuries. Boston put Coyle on the 40-man roster before this season.

But neither is producing now. And that can intensify the pressure.

“What you can do is play mind games,” said Pawtucket hitting coach Rich Gedman, a former Red Sox catcher and former Sea Dogs hitting coach. “One day it’s good. Then what’s wrong? It becomes more mental than physical. There are high expectations. You’re one step away from the big leagues.”

But the way Cecchini and Coyle are producing, that call to Boston is not coming soon.

Consider that Cecchini is a third baseman. When Boston needed someone to fill in briefly for Pablo Sandoval, the Red Sox called up Travis Shaw, a first baseman who can play third.

Coyle is a second baseman. But when Dustin Pedroia went down with a hamstring strain last week, Boston called up shortstop Deven Marrero, who was not even on the 40-man roster at the time.

In Pawtucket, Cecchini is also playing first base and left field. Coyle has played second, third, left field and center. Boston is trying to increase their value.

But if they can’t hit …

Cecchini, always praised for his advanced approach at the plate, is trying to come to terms with his struggles.

“You don’t expect to fail because you work hard,” he said. “People say you need to expect that (failure). So it’s happening. I need to know how to make the adjustments and learn what I need to do to succeed at this level.”

According to Baseball America, the publication that ranks Cecchini as Boston’s 10th-best prospect (down from No. 6 last year), Cecchini’s strength was hitting balls up the middle and to the opposite (left) field. But pitchers are busting him inside and Cecchini hasn’t figured out how to combat that.

“Your weakness gets exposed,” Gedman said. “You get a little out of your comfort zone. So by working on a weakness, you lose some of your strength. This league has provided an obstacle for Garin. They’re throwing pitches that he’s not recognizing well or is not comfortable with.

“With that he developed some mechanical flaws, and I think they’re getting straightened out. Now the toughest part of all is building back the hitter: The confidence factor.”

If Cecchini needs a role model it’s Bradley, a 2011 draftee out of college ($1.1 million bonus). Bradley, 25, flew through the minors, reaching Portland halfway through the 2012 season, batting .271/.809 while playing jaw-dropping defense in center.

Bradley impressed in the 2013 spring camp and made the major league roster for opening day, mainly because of injuries. But he was sent down after batting .189 in 37 games. He went back to Pawtucket and hit .275/.842.

Bradley was back in the majors for 2014 but never got out of a slump, batting .198/.531. He stayed because of his superior glove and injuries to others. When he was finally sent to Pawtucket for the final two weeks of August, he showed no improvement.

Now, after adjustments, Bradley was hitting .322/.867 when he was summoned last week to Boston.

“He’s quieted the lower half (of his body) from what we saw last year,” Pawtucket Manager Kevin Boles said. “He’s not moving around in the box. His hands are set a little higher, also. And we’ve seen (better) strike zone management.”

Instead of flailing at pitches, Bradley is squaring them up.

“I did everything I could,” Bradley said about improving. “I worked with Chili (Davis, Boston’s new batting coach). I came in before spring training and had my own set plan. Victor (Rodriguez, assistant hitting coach) was there to help me visualize and see it.”

And Bradley is on track, a place players like Cecchini and Coyle hope to be.

“Obviously confidence is a big part of this,” Boles said. “We have some guys who are struggling. We like their ability but there are some adjustments that need to be made.”