I can’t believe I’m sitting here after playing nearly 150 games this season!
As I wrap up the 2019 season I figured I would fill you in on a few things that have been going on this season.
IN THIS BLOG:
Day to Day MiLB Life
Past Season Update
HUGE and EXCITING New Opportunity
My day to day living:
Minor League baseball teams all handle living differently. Fortunately, the Wilmington Blue Rocks provide us with the opportunity to live with a host family for free.
It is always different at first when you move into someone else’s house. You find yourself trying to not step on their toes too much, while also, making yourself feel “right at home”. From my experience the entire 2019 season, I have had an amazing family that has made this transition pretty easy.
The Becker family has been hosting for ~4 seasons and they have a nice, spacious room for my roommate and I to stay in. They take care of me just as my parents would at home and that is something that I appreciate more than anything. I mean the way to my heart is food… and Cindy can cook! They understand that we are away from our fiancés, family, and friends and they want to make it as easy as possible for us. It really is a pretty neat experience.
When I look at the hardest part about everyday minor league baseball, it is not the competition or pressure, it is being away from the people you love.
I will be the first to admit that my job is a dream, I mean I only get paid (850 bucks a month to be exact… HA, NOT MUCH) to play the game of baseball, what else can a man want to do for a living? It really is a great joy and I am so thankful.
BUT, let’s be real, we all are humans and desire fellowship and relationships with family; this job makes it difficult. As a man that has been in a relationship for over 7 years, 6/7 being long distance, I have found these past two years to be the hardest, most challenging years of our entire relationship.
There is no question that everything good worth having comes at a sacrifice, but being away from the love of your life is tough. People think that baseball is all sunshine and rainbows, but it’s a daily grind. You are under a microscope each and every night getting valued by your stats, the plays you made, or, even worse, the plays you didn’t make.
On top of that pressure each and everyday, you have to find yourself still trying to connect, show love, and give time to your other half. And a lot of people THINK they can relate being away like this, but in reality, you really don’t know, at least very few do.
I think Reagan will be the first to admit, this game is not for everyone and that she has found herself challenged at times. I’m right next to her, we are about to get married in October and have spent a total of 7 days together in the last 6.5 months. WHAT?
I can’t wait to tie the knot and finally get to spend more than a few days at a time with the love of my life!
Aside from that, for more behind the scenes here are a few videos created by our awesome content team at the Blue Rocks about my daily life.
If I could put an emoji for each month of the season, it would go like this…
As you can see there have been a lot of inconsistencies this year. However, when I look at my progression as a whole, I really feel like I have made tremendous strides at the plate.
The last several years, scouts and coaches would use the term, “raw” baseball player, meaning I basically use athletic ability to get me through competition; in more real terms, that means baseball skills haven't been super refined, but the fact that I have been able to compete at this level without those skills it is intriguing and means I have room to grow.
To me, this is motivation; motivation in the sense that I know deep down I barely have reached my ceiling and I know the best days are ahead. And with that, I won’t stop working until I reach that ceiling!
Each season it seems a word sticks with me.... this year it was “molding”. It was something that my hitting coach, Larry Sutton, ingrained in my mind during my early struggles in April. A lot of times during a struggle, I find it easy to just focus on my current situation and really have trouble seeing the BIG picture of my career, shoot to be honest… seeing the big picture of life itself!
The word “molding” means to influence the development of. And that is exactly what my struggles did, they allowed me to learn and grow while developing into a more mature baseball player. I need failure and things to go wrong! It really is crazy to think about, but every strike out, every swing and miss, every 0-4 day is one step closer to the big leagues. That is why it is so important for me to LEARN from my failures every day, at the end of the day, my best days I fail 70% of the time!
Quote I pondered almost weekly this season:
“You know something is an idol when you are frustrated in the pursuit of it, fearful in the loss of it, and devastated when you lose it.”
What are you idolizing? I can promise I am guilty of this with my career. This quote hits me with a reality check and allows me to put my focus on God instead of my career.
Soo.. What’s Exciting? What's NEXT?
I am pretty excited to announce that I have been selected to participate in the 2019 MLB Arizona Fall League. Every season it seems like I have all these plans and baseball comes in the middle and just jumbles everything up; this year, the Fall League was that!
With 6 prospects from each Major League Baseball Organization getting the chance to represent their respective team, there are 6 teams filled with minor league baseball’s best baseball prospects. Fortunately enough, I get the opportunity to participate and represent the Kansas City Royals.
Nearly 60% of the players in this league eventually make it to the MLB, which is why I knew I could not turn this down! This will be a huge stepping stone for me in my journey to the big leagues!
FALL LEAGUE INFO: https://www.mlb.com/arizona-fall-league
On another note, Kris Bubic and I will get the chance to represent the Wilmington Blue Rocks as their “Player/Pitcher of the Year” in the 2019 Kansas City Royals Futures Night at the end of September. This an annual event for the top players from each respective minor league baseball team in the organization. Really honored and excited for this!
Getting this chance to experience a game at Kauffman Stadium will just be a taste of what the big leagues is like and push me to be even more to get there! I am excited to spend this day with family and celebrate a great year.
AND lastly, the most important of all, October 26, 2019; I get to marry the love of my life, after waiting for more than 7 years! Please put us in your thoughts and prayers as we transition from the engaged life to the married life.
All the best!