An Astros draft pick talks about his introduction to life in the minors.
For Bobby Doran, and most of his Tri-City Valley Cats teammates, professional baseball is a brand new experience. A 6’ 6” right-hander, Doran was drafted by the Astros in the fourth round out of Texas Tech and is beginning his career in the New York-Penn League.
The Reds' triple-A manager on the importance of communication.
For Louisville Bats skipper Rick Sweet, it’s all about communication. Currently in his sixth season at the helm of Cincinnati’s Triple-A affiliate, the former big-league backstop is a believer in straight talk, so whether you’re Aroldis Chapman or a minor-league journeyman, the door of his office is always open. A minor-league manager since 1987, Sweet was the International League’s Manager of the Year each of the past two seasons.
A 2010 pick talks about the draft and signing process.
Welcome to professional baseball, Bryce Brentz. A slugging 21-year-old outfielder out of Middle Tennessee State University, Brentz was selected by Boston with the 36th-overall pick in this month’s draft and is beginning his career tonight with short-season Lowell. Brentz talked about the scouting and signing process, and his expectations of pro ball, during Spinners media day on Thursday.
Baseball players are known to have a drink from time to time, and according to Brad Ziegler, the consumption is all about camaraderie. Drafted out of Missouri State in 2003, the A’s right-hander spent part of the 2004 season with the Schaumburg Flyers of the independent Northern League before returning to affiliated ball and pitching himself to the big leagues.
Pablo Sandoval talks about coming to pro ball from Vanezuela.
A native of Puerto Cabello, Carabobo, Venezuela, Pablo Sandoval was signed by the Giants in 2003 and began his professional career the following season in the Arizona Rookie League at the age of 18. He has since gone on to become one of the best hitters in the National League, but first “The Kung Fu Panda” -- is there a better nickname in sports? -- had to learn a new language and a new culture. Now a third baseman after beginning his career as a catcher, Sandoval has hit .320/.371/.512 since breaking into the big leagues in 2008.
Inside jokes are a big part of clubhouse camaraderie, and for Brad Ziegler, the most memorable involves a duck. Now in his third season working out of the A’s bullpen, Ziegler spent six years in the minor leagues, including one comedically-tinged campaign with the Single-A Stockton Ports.
An Orioles prospect talks about handling yourself like a professional.
Jake Arrieta has a feet-firmly-on-the-ground approach to life in the minor leagues. One of the top prospects in the Orioles’ organization, the 24-year-old right-hander isn’t just excelling on the mound -- the 2007 draft pick is 6-2, 1.85 for Triple-A Norfolk -- he recognizes the importance of safety and comportment.
A Triple-A broadcaster on dealing with irate players and fans.
The life of a minor-league broadcaster isn’t exactly wrought with peril, but it’s not always a garden party, either. Steve Hyder, the radio voice of the Pawtucket Red Sox -- and a former record holder in the shot put at the University of Massachusetts -- knows that all too well, having dealt with disgruntled fans and players alike. A three-time winner of the Rhode Island Sportscaster of the Year award, Hyder was the voice of the Syracuse Chiefs prior to joining the PawSox in 2004.
A Triple-A manager discusses the priorities of his job.
Trent Jewett is more than just Stephen Strasburg’s current manager. The Syracuse Chiefs skipper is a grizzled veteran when it comes to running a minor-league club, having taken his first managerial position in 1992. He is in his second season with the Nationals organization after spending 21 years with the Pirates, including two-plus as the Bucs’ third base coach and 15 as a minor-league manager.
Andy Tracy knows that the minor leagues are all about developing talent and supporting the big-league club, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about wins and losses. Tracy, who has hit 273 home runs since breaking into pro ball in 1996, is currently with Philadelphia’s Triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.
Ron Mahay has had plenty of experience with the ups and downs of professional baseball. The 38-year-old Twins reliever has pitched in the big leagues for each of the past 14 seasons, and over that time has also appeared in over 200 minor-league games, all but a handful at the Triple-A level. He has spent parts of 11 seasons in the minors over that 14-year stretch.
Andy Tracy epitomizes the term “minor-league veteran.” The left-handed slugger has been to The Show -- his resume includes 149 big league games -- but most of his time has been spent on the farm. Now in his 15th professional season, and with his fifth organization, Tracy has seen action in 1,413 minor-league contests. He is currently with the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.