April 30, 2014
Avid baseball fans can spend hours and hours rambling on about player development across the game of Minor League Baseball. What makes an extraordinary player stand out? What are the qualities of a good ball player on and off the field? The New Hampshire Fisher Cats held their annual Media Day last Monday afternoon and manager Bobby Meacham gave his insight as to what he sees in a quality baseball player.
Meacham, 53, spent his six-year Major League career with the New York Yankees. He has been in the same spot of every player on the Fisher Cats roster. At the start of every season, many players have trouble shaking off the jitters or in some cases, players have trouble adjusting to the cold weather. The Fisher Cats start this season with quite a few veterans, which will make it easy for rookies to feel comfortable in their new home.
“I’m going to make sure they know they can relax and try their best,” said Meacham. “When you’re relaxed and know you what you are doing out there, you are able to play your best.”
One might assume that being a ballplayer is a cakewalk. You only have to work half of the year and make a decent-sized salary to play the game of America’s pastime. However, being a ballplayer is not all that simple. Being a professional baseball player takes hard work and dedication. It may be hard to believe, but ballplayers do have their ups and downs, both on and off the field.
Double-A baseball is filled with young talent and players new to the professional scene, and it is most enjoyable to watch players grow and develop to major-league talent over the course of several seasons. It is key for any young baseball player to have the right mindset at all times, because without it, you are not yourself on the field.
“I look to see what my players are thinking about,” said Meacham. “I get into their thought process and look for a player with a goal to be the best they can be.”
Each year, scouts from every Major League team travel to various Minor League ballparks all over the country looking for talent to potentially join their organization. Statistics may play a big part in what they use to find their talent but that is certainly not all they look for. Teams want valuable players who contribute to the organization as a whole.
“A good player contributes on and off the field,” said Meacham. “If I’m a good player, I am thinking about team goals not individual goals.”
The Fisher Cats skipper concluded his media conference with the quote of the day.
“I tell my players to go out and play for the audience of one—the guy who made you. This game is over after you’re forty, so I am hoping these guys can just do the best they can with what they have.”