Connor Goedert is happy to get going in the Minors, opting to make the jump from junior college to play in the Appalachian League with the Greeneville Astros.
His family knows all about Minor League life since his older brother is in his ninth professional season trying to reach the Majors.
So Goedert said he's aware of the positives and pitfalls as he embarks on a pro career after he was selected in the 15th round out of Neoshoe County (Kansas) Community College by the Houston Astros.
"I'm real fortunate I have a brother who has been through it all," said Goedert, referring to infielder Jared Goedert, who's in his first season with the Toronto Blue Jays organization after stops in the Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates farm systems. "Try to soak in as much as I can."
This is a surname that ought to sound familiar around the Minors, though the older brother has made stops in only five different leagues in nine seasons.
Connor Goedert, a 20-year-old from Ottawa, Kansas, said he struggled as a freshman but made strides this year and landed NJCAA All-American honors with a .444 batting average and national-high 19 home runs. The timing was right for him when Houston came calling.
"I had that chance to go to Kansas State," Goedert said of the possibility of following his father and brother there. "It depended on the opportunity and the offer. I thought I was ready to play [on the professional level]."
He's shaping up to be the regular third baseman for Greeneville, a position where he admits to needing plenty of tutoring. He said making better throws across the infield is one of his priorities this summer.
Adjustments are bound to come at the plate as well. He was hitting .176 and looking for his first home run through nine professional games.
His brother has proved that sometimes you're given time to make it through the Minors, but the younger Goedert is anxious to make the most of this year's situation.
"I want the work," he said. "Just stick with it. It's going to be a grind. The thing is, you get to play the next day."
Hits that count: Danville Braves third baseman Jordan Edgerton amassed a league-best 17 RBIs and scored 10 runs across his first 11 games after arriving as a ninth-round pick from Division II UNC Pembroke. His offense helped Danville to a league-high 89 runs in the team's first dozen games. "Just trying to take it one at-bat at a time," Edgerton said. "We've got a lot of guys in the lineup who can hit and [the coaching staff] does a good job of mixing everybody in."
School first, then a hit: Manny Olloque signed with the Kansas City Royals and had been assigned to the Burlington Royals before the league opener June 19, but the 16th-round pick couldn't join his new team yet. "I had to graduate high school," he said, referring to Torrance (Calif.) High School. Olloque will play third base for Burlington, and he made his professional debut July 1 by rapping the first pitch delivered to him for a single at Danville.
Next stop: Pitcher Kyle Bird is keeping his Florida baseball roots to some degree. The former Florida State and Flagler College left-hander, who's from Green Cove Springs, Florida, was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays and then sent to the Princeton Rays to begin his professional career. He said Princeton fits his style. "It's a very laid-back, quiet town, and I don't think there's anything better than that," Bird told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.