Mesoraco patient as he waits his turn
Published 12:43 am Sunday, February 1, 2009
Having been born in Punxsutawney, Pa., Devin Mesoraco knows all about Groundhog’s Day.
Personally that doesn’t mean that this year if the groundhog sees his shadow that it will mean six more months in the minor league, nor that if the animal doesn’t see his shadow that Mesoraco will make the major league roster.
The Cincinnati Reds don’t care about any signs but one when determining if the young catcher is ready to step up to the next level. Nor does Mesoraco.
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“They don’t want to bring guys up early. They don’t want them to go up and down from the minors to the majors. I don’t either,” said Mesoraco. “I’ll stay for as long as I need to. Hopefully I’ll get there in a year or two.”
The Cincinnati Reds No. 1 draft choice in 2007, Mesoraco is listed as one of the top 10 prospects in the entire organization.
Just 20 years old, the 6-foot-1, 200-pounder played in Class A Dayton last season and batted .261 with nine home runs, 42 runs batted in, 13 doubles and two stolen bases in 83 games.
In his first season with the Reds rookie team in the Sarasota, Fla. Gulf Coast League, he hit just .219 with one home run and eight RBI in 40 games.
“The Gulf Coast League is pretty tough. It’s your first experience of pro ball and the games are all at noon which is the hottest time of day,” said the young catcher.
Mesoraco sees himself more as a complete player, much like Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Russell Martin.
“Hopefully I’ll be like Russell Martin. He’s the type of player who is good in all aspects,” said Mesoraco. “I have a good glove and a strong arm. I have a little bit of power. I hope to excel in all aspects.”
Although Mesoraco wants to get the major leagues, he’s content to follow the Reds’ philosophy.
“They’re trying to build for the future. I’m the guy who’ll be a starter at some points, but they don’t want me to come up and just sit on the bench. I need to stay in the minors and play,” said Mesoraco.