Author Archive

Guest Blogger: Quintin Berry

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Hi, this is Quintin Berry, I am affiliated with the Philadelphia
Phillies organization.  My home town is sunny San Diego, CA, where I
attended San Diego State, under head coach Tony Gwynn.  After my Junior
year, I was drafted by the Phillies in the 5th round and jumped right
into my career in professional baseball.

I just finished up my second full season in the Florida State League
High A.  After a decent second year, I was given the opportunity to
come to the Arizona Fall League as a part of the Taxi Squad.  Most
people asked if I was disappointed because I was assigned to the Taxi
Squad … I’m still a little confused by that question because no
matter the situation, it’s a great opportunity to be a part of this
league.  So I guess my answer would have to be NOT AT ALL!  I was very
excited about coming to Arizona and being able to play in this
showcase, as well as being able to player closer to Mom.  And I am
having a great time doing so.

It only took a little over a week for unfortunate injuries to force
players to go home early and roster spots to open up.  Although this
was unfortunate for those players, it has given me the opportunity to
join the full-time roster and gain a lot of playing time.  We have a
great group of guys who keep the locker room and playing field a fun
and loose environment to be in.  We are just having a lot of fun doing
what we love the most.  I feel that it shows when you look at our
record and how we’ve been playing.  I’m learning a lot here, especially
from our hitting coach, Ryne Sandberg.  Having a Hall of Famer in Tony
Gwynn as a college hitting coach made great improvements to my game on
the outside pitch.  This has been a great strength of mine for years. 
Now I have another Hall of Famer in Ryne who has completely elevated my
game on the inside pitch.  This has been something that I struggled
with for years and Ryne has made my confidence level higher than ever
before when it comes to the inside pitch.  And that’s just after a few
weeks.  I must say I’m pretty lucky!

Overall, I am having a great time playing with the AFL.  Every day I
get the opportunity to learn and try something new.  I’m grateful to be
here and glad to get a chance to express it with you.  Thank you!

Carp: Up and down week

How’s it going everyone, coming to you from the fall league.  The last week has been OK since I last wrote to you.  We are still tied for first but have lost more games in this week then we had in 2 weeks combined.

So far this week has started out very poorly. As the weather started to cool off so did we.  We lost our first two games this week – one to the Phoenix Desert Dogs and one to Peoria, the team we are fighting for first against. Now we are on a one-game winning streak and trying to stay ahead until the end of the year so we can have a chance to play in the championship game.

With us doing so well in this league I think it is due to the different kinds of guys we have on our team.  We have all good guys on our team with no attitudes or big ego problems.  Within the last few weeks, we’ve become pretty good friends and like to be around one another, which plays a big part in us performing well.  If you click off the field, traditionally you will play well on the field.

So next time I write you guys, I hope I can say we are in first place by ourselves and still playing quality ball. Until next time, have a wonderful week and keep rooting on the Mesa Solar Sox.  

“Guest Blogger: Pat Overholt”

Hey Everyone,

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This is Pat Overholt coming to you from Scottsdale, Arizona. Today is Sunday, November 2, and I am catching up on a little rest on our offday. Well it’s been a very busy first few weeks out here and I couldn’t ask for a whole lot more. Playing against some of the best talent throughout the minor leagues really gives you a good idea where you stand as a player.

It’s been a good start to the Fall League for the Mesa Solar Sox. We have been playing some good baseball and as many of the other guys have said we seem to have some of the best team chemistry I have ever seen. When a team is put together for somewhat of a short season as we have been down here, it’s always important to come together as a team and play together as we seem to have done well the past few weeks.

This is my second go around in the AFL as I was a member of the Peoria Saguaros last fall. Seeing the progression of many of my former teammates on to the major leagues has really given me a first hand look into the crop of talent that continues to come through the AFL year after year. It also motivates me to continue to work on the things I was sent down here to work on. For me those things are fastball command, continued development of my change up, and locating the ball down in the zone.

As most seasons seem to come and go very quickly I’m sure this AFL will be over before we know it. It’s always fun to play in Arizona so that my family is able to make weekend trips down here. They were all able to visit last weekend which was fun as always. Being from Salt Lake City it makes only a little over an hour flight so that’s nice! The off season will sure fly by as my fiance and I are planning our wedding in January. Thanks for reading and please e-mail me with any questions or comments you may have! 

 

Winning in Mesa and Philadelphia

      Hello everyone Andrew Carpenter coming to you from the Arizona fall league again.  Since the Rising Stars game we have still been on a tear as a team.  We are still tied for first and have a 3 game wining streak going.
      Since the last time I have wrote you, we are 5-1 and still tied for first.  I feel like we have been scoring 10 runs every game except for the one we lost. I have never seen a team score so many runs before. From a pitchers stand point the more runs the better, so thank you to all the hitters on my team.
      My last start has been my best start of the AFL so far.  I went 5 innings throwing just 56 pitches. I gave up 3 hits striking out 2 and giving up no runs. My last two starts I’m finally starting to get back in the grove.
      Hopefully we can keep our hot streak going till the end of the season and win the championship out here.  We would then follow in the footsteps of my team who just clinched it on Wednesday.  So I’ll end on giving props to the Philadelphia Phillies on winning the World Series.
GO PHILLIES!!!!  

Good times rolling for Mesa

Hello everybody coming to you from the AFL, after a third week in Arizona. The weather down here is still the same, nice and hot.  This week we have been playing very well, winning every game since the last time I wrote to you.
           
This week we have started to mesh as a team and it is showing by how we are playing.  We went undefeated this week, winning our last six games.  Now we are tied for first in our division along with the Peoria Saguaros. We actually won a game with 28 runs, which is amazing. Let’s just say I am glad I wasn’t one of those pitchers.
            
One thing I am really enjoying while playing in the AFL is day games. Almost all of our games are at 12:35 p.m. which really allows us to have time for family or friends for the rest of the day. Unlike during the season where I’m clear across country , I’m only four hours away from where I spend my off season. So my family is close enough to come out and visit, instead of having to take a six-hour flight for hundreds of dollars across country. It is always good to see family and friends when I’m away for most of the year.
              
Today (10/23/08) I pitched against the Scottsdale Scorpions. I went four innings with one run. My coach has me working up innings each game. The first game I started with two innings, my last game I was allowed to go three innings and today four innings. My team won 8-6 with a home run in the bottom of the 9th, what an exciting way to win. Hopefully we can continue on our win streak and stay in first place.

 

Different perspectives of the game

Hello everyone. It’s Andrew Carpenter again coming to you from the AFL after a
second week.  So far it has been very fun and exciting to play with
these guys and also watch them play.  This second week of games have
been high scoring and coming down to the 9th inning have been very
close.

Since I am a starting pitcher I get to see three different perspectives of the game.  When I am pitching, I am in the game. The next two days I am in the dugout and two days after that I am in the stands charting. So I view the game in very different ways and get to see different things going on during the game.

When I pitch in the game I get the perspective of competing to be the best and helping my team come out on top. When I am in the dugout I view the game as being a good teammate and cheering on my team and trying to help them win in that way.  The days I chart, in a way I
become a scout and I chart our pitcher to see how he gets the hitters out. I get to see how hard some of these guys throw and also see some hitters turn around some nasty pitches. Therefore, charting helps me get ready for my next start to give me the best information on the opposing team.
         
The biggest thing that happened this week was the Phillies making it to the World Series. Since I am part of the Phillies organization, this makes me very proud and excited to say that I am a Philly. Even though they beat my favorite team while I was growing up
(the Dodgers), I am still very happy the Phillies came away with the
wins. Let’s hope they do a great job in the World Series.

Guest Blogger: Jason Donald

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Hello, my name is Jason Donald and I am an infielder in the Philadelphia phillies organization. This is my first time ever doing a blog so hang with me. Obviously, I along with pretty much everybody else in this league, are pretty excited to be here. This is my first time in the Fall League, but not my first time being in the state of Arizona for a long period of time. I went to the University of Arizona(BEAR DOWN!) down in Tucson so I guess you could say I’m somewhat used to the dry heat and desert landscape.

I would say one of the main goals for me while I am here is to learn and play third base. I have always been a shortstop and have only played shortstop my whole entire life, so this will be a great opportunity for me. I still will play short while I am here, but also third and maybe mixing in some second base as well. It has been a process thus far, but getting reps and experience is the most important thing for me. I also know that Jimmy Rollins won’t be going anywhere for quite awhile, and if learning and knowing how to play all three spots helps get me to the big leagues, then I will take the opportunity every time.

One aspect that has made my time here enjoyable thus far is the guys on the team. We have guys from the Phillies, Cubs, Marlins, Braves, and Tigers. I think we have meshed pretty well and everyone gets along great. Even though we all have different uniforms on, there is a sense of camaraderie inside the clubhouse and dugout. Plus, you get to see how other guys work and approach the game and maybe pick something up that could help your game get better.

Well I think that is about it for this blog. We start our second week of the AFL tomorrow night against Scottsdale. I am looking forward to the games and work ahead this week. Hope you enjoyed the blog entry. 

 

Hello from an AFL Carpenter

When I was asked to play in the Arizona Fall League I was very thankful.  I knew that it is a great honor to be chosen to represent my organization (The Phillies).

When I arrived here in Arizona and met my new teammtes, I began thinking how I remembered some of the guys from during the season. Some I remember  not liking to pitch against and others I remember as simply good baseball players. Now I’m getting the chance to play on the same team and actually getting to know each player. Within just this first week I realized that the guys I remembered not liking were really cool guys and are great players and teammates.

October 2 was the first day at our stadium, Hohokam Stadium, which was also the first day the team met up for workouts.   Each morning I would get to the stadium early enough to get my own workout in before the team began the team workouts. Conditioning for me is the biggest thing I am working on outside of pitching and the main reason I get to the stadium early each day. For the first 5 days we were here we had team workouts to go over the basics, bunt defence, signs, cut offs and relays, pop up priority, and first and third plays.
 
October 7th was our first game against the Phoenix Desert Dogs, it was a good game and we came out on top, not a bad way to start the season.  Since then our record is 2-2 and we are only getting better with every game and getting more familiar with each other. My first start is Saturday 10-11-08,  I am looking forward to it and hoping to do good to help give my team a chance to win.  So wish me luck and I will let you know how it goes in my next blog.

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