Spinners’ Media Day: A Chat with the Draft Picks

 

Teddy Stankiewicz pitched in the Under Armour All-American Preseason Tournament in high school. Photo-Baseballfactory.com

by TJ HORGAN

Lowell, MA- Friday, June 14th marked the annual gathering of Lowell Spinners’ players and local press for what is known as, “media day.” The sun was beaming down on LeLacheur Park as I got to speak with some future faces of the Boston Red Sox.

Among these aspiring major leaguers was 19-year-old, Teddy Stankiewicz. Stankiewicz, who is known on twitter as, “Teddystank29” was drafted in the second round by Boston. He was drafted 75th overall by the Mets in 2012, but chose to attend a year with Seminole State, a junior college in Florida.

For Stankiewicz, attending Seminole State was, “A really good decision…it developed me more in a mental stage, and as a player…I got in the best shape of my life.”

Stankiwewicz’s attitude was overflowing with excitement to be a part of the Red Sox’s organization. When asked the question of how he liked being part of the Red Sox, he quickly but surely responded, “I love it,” with an immense grin.

Stankiewicz, who arrived in Boston for the first time in his life on Thursday, posted a 2.52 ERA in 60.7 innings pitched with Seminole State.

The only other player selected in one of the first 5 rounds who was present that day was 5th-rounder, Corey Littrell. He has a passion to help his team succeed. When asked about personal expectations, he replied, “I just want to go out there and help the team out. I just can’t wait to get out there and play.”

“I’m not going to blow it by everyone, but I know how to pitch. I can throw four pitches for a strike…My mentality makes me who I am,” said the lefty who played at Kentucky for three years.

Although Littrell mentioned that he wouldn’t, “blow it by everyone,” he had 52 strikeouts in 39 innings in the Cape Cod League. He had a breakout sophomore year with Kentucky, posting a 2.74 ERA and finishing 9-2.

Littrell noted that among his influences, his grandfather was his, “biggest role model for baseball.” Jack Littrell, Corey’s grandfather, played from 1952-1957 with the Philadelphia Athletics and Chicago Cubs.

Littrell lauded what he has seen from the Lowell Spinners so far, saying, “I’ve been here for a day and a half, and you know the coaches are nice and I love my teammates already.”

I also got a chance to speak with the 323rd overall pick of the 2013 draft and Venezuela native, Carlos Asuaje. He possessed a humility that sometimes seems rare in players who have recently signed a contract.

This draft was memorable to Asuaje because he said the Red Sox, “Pulled a fast one,” in the sense that he was not expecting to be drafted by Boston. The Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers, among others, were clubs he anticipated getting the call from.

Although he is considered small for an aspiring major leaguer (5’9, 160), Asuaje prides himself on work ethic. “I’m a max effort guy…I’ve never been one of those guys with tons of talent, and obviously not a lot of size, so I have to go out there and play hard everyday to at least stand out from the crowd.”

Stankiewicz, Littrell, and Asuaje are only three of the Red Sox’s 40 draft picks. However, they are suited up and ready for the season to begin in Lowell.

 

About tjburlington

TJ is an aspiring sports broadcaster or journalist. He started his sports broadcasting journey in the summer of 2011 when he attended the Young Broadcasters of America summer camp. He has hosted 50+ hours of live web content. TJ is an avid fantasy football player, and enjoys reading and writing about the wide world that is fantasy football. Horgan has interviewed many notable faces in the sports world, including voice of Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN, and 2012 sportscaster of the year, Dan Shulman, former Boston Celtics big man and current assistant manager, Walter McCarty, and New England Patriots Tight End, Rob Gronkowski. In addition to sportscasting, he has been in five feature-length films, including a main role in a film called CO2, and an extra in “Grown Ups,” with Adam Sandler. TJ plays baseball for his high school team in Burlington, Massachusetts. He currently co-hosts "The Sports Mandate" on Burlington and Reading local access television Contact TJ on Twitter @captainhorgan83 or email him at [email protected]
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