SAN JOSE -- Emmanuel Burris has proven in his first month with the Class A Advanced San Jose Giants that he hasn't lost a step.
The shortstop stole 16 bases in April, tying him for California League lead and third overall in the Minor Leagues. He is well on pace to shatter the total of 35 stolen bases he swiped with the Class A Short-Season Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in 2006.
But while the transition on the field hasn't been a problem for Burris, what about the change of scenery?
The Giants play in the heart of San Jose, Calif., a city with a population nearly nine times that of Salem, Ore., the city that Burris last called home.
And while the Giants' home park, San Jose Municipal Stadium, is considered small compared to other, newer Class A Advanced parks springing up across the country, it still feels big to Burris.
"In Salem I got to know the fans a bit more because it was such a small town," he said. "We had the same fans come every day. I started recognizing fans, and they'd talk to us a lot more because the stadium wasn't as big as this.
"San Jose is pretty big."
San Jose is also expensive, especially on a Minor Leaguer's salary.
To ease the transition, players are matched with a host family through the organization. The family provides the player with creature comforts and a touch of home while they adapt to their new surroundings.
"We eat dinner together," Burris said. "Sometimes I get home too late, and they'll leave food out for me. They really don't bother me too much in the mornings; they let me sleep in. It's no problem.
"I'd much rather have that than be struggling to pay the rent in a place where I'm not sure if I'm getting [cheated] or not. It's perfect."
The 22-year-old Burris also said that living with a host family has helped him to save money for the future, which would be near-to-impossible if he was out on his own.
With a lot of Giants players in a similar situation as Burris -- feeling most comfortable at home -- it comes as no surprise that a night out usually turns into a night in at one of the player's host family's houses.
For the Giants, the usual hangout is first baseman Will Thompson's host parent's house.
"The parents are really cool," Burris said. "They cook us dinner, and we'll just watch TV. They have a pretty big basement, so we just play pool; there's a Ping-Pong table down there and all sorts of stuff. We play some video games and watch movies."
Burris said that the players rarely go out because they get very few days off, but they do sometimes head to downtown San Jose to grab a bite to eat or just sit and talk baseball.
When the urge to watch baseball arises, a favorite outing for Giants players involves the team's Major League affiliate, the San Francisco Giants.
AT&T Park is a short drive from San Jose, so groups of players regularly head across the San Francisco Bay to see what the future may hold in store for them.
Burris said being able to watch the Major Leaguers helps motivate himself and his teammates.
"To see the guys that we were watching in Spring Training here in San Francisco play in a Major League game -- it was crazy how much harder guys work the next day in batting practice," he said. "It's something that is a blessing to see."
Anything to keep one step ahead.
Mark Shugar is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.