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March 24, 2010

Minor Issues

First Camp with Chris Herrmann

by David Laurila

For Chris Herrmann, spring training is a new experience. One year ago, the 22-year-old infielder turned catcher was at the University of Miami, soon to be taken in the sixth round of the June draft by the Twins. Now he’s in Fort Myers, not only preparing for his first full professional season, but also acclimating to new teammates and routines. Herrmann debuted with Elizabethton in the Appalachian League last summer, hitting .297/.391/.453 in 277 plate appearances. 

On his early impressions of camp: “I’m not used to being around so many baseball teammates. There are about 150 guys out here, so it’s quite an experience. We’re working hard, running all over the place and working at different stations, so there’s a lot we have to do. This is the pros and everybody is here for a reason, so there’s a lot of good competition. All of the other teams that we’ll be playing in spring training are just as good as we are, so it’s a good way to get ready for the season.”

On the daily schedule, including running: “We wake up for breakfast around six o’clock and then head up here at 7:30 to start our day. We‘ve only been out here for two days and we haven‘t run as much as what I used to do in college, but we still work pretty hard. We‘re working on hitting a lot and doing our defensive stuff, and I‘m getting pretty used to it.”

On what fans might not know about the minor leagues: “I played at E-town in the Appy League, and everybody thinks that we’re a bunch of millionaires, but that’s not the case at all. There are a few of us, but we’re getting paid a thousand bucks a month and here in spring training we’re not even getting paid. Basically, we’re working hard for nothing and hoping that one day we’ll get that big chunk of change like they do in the [major leagues]”

On signing-bonus jealousy: “It kind of bothers some guys, but if you truly love the sport you’re not really going to care too much about how much money you signed for. If you love the game a lot and work hard at it, eventually it will pay off once you make the big leagues.”

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