By Andy Freudenberg
The second half of the major league baseball season is underway, and in the game’s minor leagues, the stars of the future are looking for an opportunity to prove themselves at the next level. WFPL intern Andy Freudenberg recently visited Louisville Slugger Field, where he spoke to some Louisville Bats players hoping for a call-up.
The Cincinnati Reds’ farm team includes young talent just waiting to make it big in baseball. Reds first baseman Joey Votto played in Louisville before being called up and is one of the premiere hitters in the National League this year. One player looking to make a similar splash is Bats outfielder Todd Frazier (below, right). He has high hopes of being called up. Frazier was drafted 34th in 2008 by the Reds and has been called a great asset to his team.
“I mean I hope today’s my day you know what I mean? You just never know, its not your decision and they make the choices so you just try to go out there and play your game like you’ve been 12 years old and understand the game better and pick all these veteran guys on the team brains,” he said.
Yonder Alonso (below, left)was drafted 7th in 2008 by the Reds and has been moving quickly though the farm system. According to MLB.com, the first baseman is ranked among the top 30 young baseball prospects. Alonso says he tries not to think about being moved up and focuses on playing day to day.
“You know I just got to improve in all aspects in the game, everyday you want to learn even when your in the big leagues, so you hear guys like Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, you know there in the big leagues and there doing their thing, and there learning everyday, you can heard from them, and everyday they want to get better and they set goals for themselves,” Alonso said.
Alonso and Frazier are hoping to take a page from teammate Drew Sutton, who has already played for the Reds and is currently on the team’s inactive roster and was optioned back to Louisville. Sutton says he has created some great moments from just playing in about 50 major league games.
“Probably that grand slam was probably the best one that I’ve had, I mean, it was against the Astros who was the team that drafted me and I traded from them to over here in April,” Sutton (pictured at right) said.
Sutton added that being a versatile player was one of the key factors in his being bumped up to the Reds inactive roster.
“Playing a lot of positions helps, if your limited to one position, this years I’ve played short, third, second, first, left, and right, and so that opens up a lot more options if a lot more people get hurt, where is if your just a first basemen or shortstop, you going to wait on that position for something to happen, not necessarily for an injury or a trade or anything like that,” he said.
Despite having playing baseball professionally for years now, the 24 year old Frazier says he still feels like he’s just a kid.
“You know, just watching different guys in different situations do their jobs is great it’s just baseball, and I get excited over any little thing, I don’t know if you’ve seen me in the dugout I’m like a clown in here, so I’m just rooting for my teammates like a 12 year old and I’m hoping everyone does well,” he said.
These young players have lots of heart and talent that they hope will be translated into big league playing time.
(Photos courtesy of the Louisville Bats)