Player Development

After some promising signs during the middle of the home stand that our outcomes were making a turn for the better, our struggles have continued over the weekend.  The absence of key hits and giving the opposition extra outs have cost us the past few games.  The losses have been hard to swallow but the team is doing its best to stay positive, as hard as it may be at times.  We keep working hard to improve, knowing that our fortunes are bound to change by making our own breaks on the field.

For the lay baseball fan, it often goes overlooked that we are really baseball players in training, and that the final product on the field every night is not always going to be well polished.  The time put in everyday working on hitting, fielding and pitching mechanics often goes unnoticed during days that usually begin five to seven hours prior to game time.  Playing at the Class A level, we still have four more rungs to climb to get to the Majors (A-Advanced, AA, AAA, MLB).  While we go out every night trying to win a baseball game, our primary objective is to develop as a player so that we are better players at the last day of the season than we were when we arrived in Cedar Rapids.

Players are constantly making adjustments with the focus on the big picture.  By this, I mean that we are all working toward the goal of becoming a Major League baseball player and we currently do not have the skills and the experience necessary to play at that level.  Hitting .300 in this league with mechanics that will not work at the upper levels when facing better pitchers does the player and the organization no good.  So, as frustrating as it may be at times, there will be stretches were a player might be struggling at the plate or on the mound, in part, to a mechanical change that is designed to pay off in the future. 

When these struggles are collective and the team has difficulties with wins and losses is the most testing of situations.  A team win always brightens up an 0-for-4 or a two error day; the food always tastes better, the sun is always brighter, and bus rides do not seem to take as long after victories.  The absence of victories puts a damper on the overall pulse of everything.  However, as long as there are games on the schedule, we have the opportunity to improve, get closer to our goal of making it to the Majors, and win a baseball game that night.

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