A few years ago, I remember heading to the backfields of Camelback Ranch to watch the Minor Leaguers prepare for their season. There were two games being played, simultaneously, on fields that were adjacent. Needless to say, I was busy.
As the names and faces became less and less familiar, my interest waned. The lesser-known players took over for the better prospects late in the game and few caught my eye. That was, until, a crowd gathered behind one of the backstops.
On the mound stood a Dominican pitcher of modest stature, but he had a big presence. As he warmed up, the players continued to congregate around the bleachers — creating a standing room only envivronment. The batter entered the box, the pitcher threw a fastball, and the prospect holding a radar gun said, “99.”
The next pitch was the same, and Jose Dominguez, the unknown quantity, became the talk of the backfields. He went on to make his Major-League debut in 2013 and was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays last November. Just 24, he has quite a future ahead of him.
On Friday, I had the same experience from years back. After watching Corey Seager hit, and Zach Lee and Chris Reed pitch in the Triple-A game, I began to lose interest as players I didn’t know or follow replaced them. I checked on the Double-A game, which included a few notable performances, but was beginning to think my day was over.
With the Triple-A contest coming to a close, one final pitcher entered to shut the door. I honestly don’t remember if the team was winning or losing. It didn’t matter. All that mattered was baseball was being played. The southpaw finished his warmup tosses, the first batter entered the box and the radar guns went up.
CONTINUE READING: Ramon Benjamin Lights Up Radar Gun