Life in the Minors - Chapter 10: Adjusting to the Minors
WFUV Sports discovers how the Staten Island Yankees and the Brooklyn Cyclones adjust to the minors.
Minor League Baseball: How does it differ from the majors? For the eleventh consecutive year, WFUV goes behind the scenes with the Brooklyn Cyclones and Staten Island Yankees In the Short Season Single-A NY-Penn League, it's long bus rides, low pay, and 76 games in 80 days. This is our look at Life in the Minors: How the Other Half Lives.
Steve Simineri, Brooklyn Cyclones Beat Reporter
One of the biggest parts of baseball is adjusting. Everyday ballplayers need to adjust to what an opposing pitcher is throwing or just adjusting to a new ballpark and surroundings. But for these young Mini Mets and Baby Bombers, coming to Brooklyn and Staten Island is one of the biggest adjustments they have to face.
The talent level in the minors is far greater than any level most of these young men have ever played. Here in the NY-Penn league they play a grueling 76 game schedule in only 80 days. This is a big change from their high school or college schedule.
Unlike college, there are no metal bats allowed and for some of these players the wood bats are a new challenge. Not only that, these NY-Penn League players were drafted out of their respective high school or college and were probably some of the top players on those teams. All of them were selected by major league teams with the possibility of perhaps someday being called up and making it to the big show.
Kevin Sutcliffe, Staten Island Yankees Beat Reporter
Making adjustments are a part of any sport. In baseball, these changes can be as small as choking up on a bat or as large as changing positions in the field. Either way, adjustments are necessary for a player to be successful.
When a player makes a jump from one level of baseball, like high school or college, to another, like the minor leagues, many adjustments must be made. Several Baby Bombers, like outfielder Mason Williams, had difficulty adapting to playing baseball everyday. He says the biggest change he had to make was being mentally prepared to play every single day, and to not get discouraged from one bad game.
The transition from metal bats to wooden bats was another adjustment that many Staten Island players had to make. After one and a half years, Second Baseman Casey Stevenson believes he has finally become accustomed to wooden bats. Casey says the biggest difference between metal and wooden bats is the balance of weight. However, pitcher William Oliver is grateful for the metal to wood change. He believes that metal bats gave the hitters a huge advantage.
These minor leaguers have made many adjustment over the course of the summer and these changes will not stop at the conclusion of the season. Even in the big leagues, players are constantly adapting and changing their approach in order to become better ballplayers.