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Moose Tracks, Vol. 3

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, January 26, 2011 07:00 AM | Comments: 2
Blueclaws, Minor Leagues, PN Interview, Posts, Prospecting

Phillies minor league third baseman Moose Mattair checked in, once again, to give readers an inside look at his journey back to baseball, after taking a year off to try his hand at Division I college basketball.

Moose and his cousin Eric drove together from Washington state and stopped in central Florida to move Moose into his temporary Winter/Spring residence before wrapping up their bonding with a few days in Miami. Moose is now back in the Clearwater area and phoned in, on Monday, with a report on the past week, or so, in Florida. To read Moose’s previous diary entries click here and here.

 

Miami is an awesome place…just a fabulous place. The weather was beautiful. I got a nice sunburn, which prevented me from getting the tattoo that I originally planned to get on the trip. I wanted to add on to the cross that I have on my back, but I was just too sunburned that I couldn’t get it. We went around the city and took in the beach and went to a couple different spots. It was a load of fun, but that place is quite expensive and my cousin and I weren’t looking to spent everything there, so we came back (to the Clearwater area) a day early. Miami is definitely a spot that I’ll go back to, for sure.

My cousin Eric headed back to Washington on Sunday morning really early. He’s home, safe and sound. He had to get up for work today around 4:30. He ended up getting his tattoo, while he was down here with me. He flew back. There was no way you’d get him to ride in a car any longer than we did for the trip down here.

Initially, when I got to central Florida to move in and work out a couple days last week, I hit in the cage and did some pretty intense workouts with our trainer Shawn Fcasni in Clearwater. Tuesday was upper body day and Wednesday was lower body. Shawn has us doing this new workout routine from Japan that the speed skaters used to do over there to add bulk and endurance to their muscles as fast as they possibly can. It took a toll on me. It’s a different workout and got me pretty sore for the week in Miami.

Overall, it was great to see everyone when I got there and give them all a hug…some of my best friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. Plus with Shawn Fcasni and all the head honchos and everybody, it was fun to see them and it seemed like they were excited to see me, which made me feel more than welcomed back and I was just really thrilled.

It’s just great to be back and it’s phenomenal to see everyone. I am glad to get back into a baseball routine and I am confident I’ll be playing baseball for a long while and it’s so good to be back. I look forward to spring training and the season as well. I feel like good things are in my future.

It’s great to see the work ethics of some of these guys that are ahead of me, like the Halladays, the Howards, the Browns…it’s great to be here working out with them, because you get to see what kind of work you have to put in, in order to be great. I’m really soaking that in and really trying to imitate what they’re doing because that’s what you have to do to be great, is what they’re doing, and that’s what I want to be- great.

I’m so glad that I’ve come down early. I am planning to go five days a week, so starting today I’ll be there Monday through Friday until spring training officially begins.

As far as my routine, I went to the ballpark today around 9:30 and hit off a tee by myself for a little while and then had a full-on lifting workout and then took a little break. Then about 1, I took batting practice with Ryan Howard, Domonic Brown and Anthony Hewitt. Howard took time afterward and talked to all three of us, for what must have been 45 minutes, about mental preparation and thinking positive. I learned more in that hour than I’ve learned in a long, long time in baseball. In that situation, you’re so intent and focus on someone that you’ve looked up to and that is ahead of you, when they’re speaking, that you soak everything up that they’re saying. It was an awesome experience.

It’s a lot of fun. It sounds like I’ll be doing more of that, which is very exciting, and then soon I’ll start working on some fielding. It’s a full day at the ballpark, I couldn’t ask for more. If I’m not at the ballpark, I’m not doing very much, so it’s good thing to be there and getting my work in.

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Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league contributor.  You can read more from Jay by checking out his site, PhoulBallz.com.

Avatar of Jay Floyd

About Jay Floyd

Jay Floyd has written 622 articles on Phillies Nation.

Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation's minor league insider. You can read more from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.

 
 
  • Posts: 38 GoPhils

    Avatar of GoPhils

    It’s been tough sledding for Anthony Hewitt so far. I guess he’s working extra hard now in the hope that it will all finally come together for him. Hopefully the Howard talk has a positive effect. I understand that he has tremendous upside, but also is quite raw and so would qualify as a high-risk, high-reward player. In other words, he oozes athleticism and could blossom into star because of it, but there’s a chance none of it ever translates to polished play. He did have 11 homeruns while batting close to .200 last year, so you can see here why the Phils drafted him so high. Just pull the average up to .250 and maybe he could hit 25. I guess he is 21, which would make him old for Lakewood. I wonder if another year of futility will make him not want to deal with the embarrasment of playing his third year at lakewood as a 22 year old or if the Phils release him. But as long as he’s here, he needs to work hard and hope. Most ballplayers never get as far as he did anyway.

     
  • Posts: 291 Jay Floyd

    Avatar of Jay Floyd

    I think Hewitt will be back at Lakewood in 2011, but the OF will be crowded at A ball (both Lakewood & Clearwater), so we’ll see. 21 isn’t necessarily old for the SAL, just seems old for guys that were drafted out of high school.

    Hewitt works harder than most. May have said this on here before, but through the middle-late months of the season, while guys would be watching TV, eating and playing cards before games…Hewitt would be in the indoor batting cages by himself, working on his swing. That’s not very common.

    Hewitt is very mature too. Plenty of better known guys on that ‘Claws team the past couple years have refused to talk after one bad game, but Hewitt let me virtually grill him on a bad season after an August game where his avg. dipped under .200. He took the blame, made no excuses and stayed focused.

    Something that Mark Parent told me about him late in the season was that Hewitt was playing because he had to play. Meaning…the Phillies drafted him #1 and they wanted him playing regularly because of that. Hewitt was rested for multiple games late in the season and in the postseason, but there’s a chance that sort of physical/mental break came late for him.

     
 
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