Every spring a hand full or so men get the call, a chance to play in the C.B.L. For most that dream ends as their spring training invite expires. During that same time, fringe players battle it out,play by play, hoping to prove their worth to stay in the league that is notoriously difficult to stay in.
This year is no different for the man from Dix Hills, a former first round and 20th overall pick of the 2018 draft. Those days of dominating the collegiate level are long gone, a life time .293/.354/.485 player,means little 6 years into your professional career in the C.B.L. NC State University all-time hits and doubles leader means even less now, in the face of C.B.L. competition. The only player ever to make it out of Dix Hills, NY and into the C.B.L., the pressure has always been tremendous on him. Some say it was self inflicted, others say it was pressure from a struggling franchise looking for the spark but every fringe player feels.
In his first full season in the C.B.L., he hit a respectable .282/.310/.485 while smashing 29 HRs. Over the course of his C.B.L. career he has managed to put together a .277/.314/.440 with a 112 OPS+, not superstar but pretty good numbers. But now he lands in the place where players die, the fringe. With the additions of Carlton and Ramsey, the man from Dix Hills is looking from the outside in. At 27 years old, the time is running out for what most consider a DH only player. Age and lack of fielding ability hurts players at this stage. Only a strong showing during spring training can save players who are on the edge of being left off the team.
In the end, there are many men like the man from Dix Hills, NY. All they want is one more shot at the show, one more night to be play under the lights.