Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Natural

Most of the Pirate minor league affiliates have been releasing their rosters over the last couple days.  The placements are for the most part unsurprising.  Just some minor excitement for what has been a slow spring news-wise for the Bucs.

But one name caught my eye.  So much so that I had to check and recheck three different places online to see if I was reading things correctly.

Wes Freeman.

The name probably doesn't mean much to you.  Not should it.
This isn't exactly the Josh Hamilton story.  Wes Freeman was a 16th round pick for the Bucs out of high school in 2008.  He signed for a decent sized bonus, back when you could actually do that sort of thing.  The guy was pretty well hyped as a well rounded talent, and at 6'4" 215 lbs, he seemed like the kind of guy who could do nasty things to a baseball.

He struggled initially, but put up a very nice .304/.338.492 slash line as a 21 year old in low A in 2011.  A lottery ticket to be sure, but maybe one that would at least have a shot at sniffing the majors some day.

And then, at least seemingly out of nowhere, Freeman announced his retirement after a really rough 2012 season.  Still, at just 22 and with a good pedigree he seemed like a player that might have a chance at moving up in the game.

And that...was pretty much it.  And then suddenly his name appeared on the roster for A-ball Bradenton.

Apparently something changed, and he was in camp with the team for spring training.  Admittedly, the guy is a 25 year old A ball player who has never played above A ball.  He was at best a scratch off lottery ticket to begin with, and the story carries none of the peaks and valleys found in more famous iterations of this narrative.

But still, he's a guy who I'll be keeping an eye on this season in the box scores.
He's acting as a player/coach, so it's probably just as likely as not that this is simply a way to springboard his coaching career.  But who knows - maybe this can make for an interesting story.

No comments:

Post a Comment