Appy notes: M's DeCarlo stays calm

Pulaski infielder undaunted by expectations, position switch

Joe DeCarlo went 3-for-5 in his debut for Pulaski. (Larry Goren/Four Seam Images)

By Bob Sutton / Special to | June 27, 2013 6:00 AM ET

Pulaski third baseman Joe DeCarlo won't let his prospect status inflict any unnecessary pressure as he makes his way around the Appalachian League.

"I don't think about it too much," said DeCarlo, ranked by as the No. 14 prospect in the Seattle system. "I'm a pretty modest guy. Everybody is trying to get to the big leagues."

DeCarlo's quest comes with the scrutiny of being a second-round pick (64th overall) in the 2012 Draft. His assignment to Pulaski gives him a chance to play on the East Coast, and it might be as close to his Glen Mills, Pa., home as he gets in the Minor Leagues.

The 19-year-old is intent on remaining relaxed to perform at his best.

"Go about your business," he said. "Anytime your profession is playing the game you love, that's the best thing. Hopefully, my biggest moment is making it to the big leagues."

DeCarlo gave up a college scholarship to Georgia when the Mariners surprised some by picking him so early.

"The scouts are really good at what they do," he said. "Like every other person says getting ready for the Draft, you don't know what to expect. It wasn't a tough decision for me."

He has two older brothers who played collegiately, with Mike DeCarlo going on to play in the Arizona Diamondbacks' organization in 2005-06.

Joe DeCarlo began the Appalachian League season with a three-hit outing. Two games later, he struck out four times.

There will be adjustments that he must make at the plate, according to Pulaski manager Chris Prieto, who's been impressed by DeCarlo's approach to the game.

"He's hard-nosed," Prieto said. "He's a very good competitor."

DeCarlo knows that as a corner infielder, he'll eventually be expected to be a key run producer. He batted .236 with four homers and 31 RBIs in 53 games last summer in the Arizona League. He stayed in Arizona for extended spring training prior to this summer's assignment. Though he pointed out some benefits, he'd prefer not to go through that again.

"As hot as it is and things like that, complaining about it doesn't get you anywhere," he said.

A bigger adjustment has come in the field. DeCarlo was pegged as a third baseman by the organization last summer, making the switch from shortstop.

"It wasn't a tough transition for me," he said. "You put in the work and learn how to play the position."

"He's got really good hands," Prieto said. "He reacts to the ball really well at the corner."

DeCarlo, checking in at 5-foot-10 and 205 pounds, called his first go-around in the pros "a decent year," but things have changed since a year ago.

"This is my first time playing in front of a decent amount of people," DeCarlo said. "I'm just enjoying it."

In brief

This time he's in: Fifth-round pick Thaddius Lowry of the Chicago White Sox made his debut two days after a false alarm. He came in from the Bristol bullpen and warmed up against Elizabethton, only to be sent away because of a paperwork miscue (he wasn't listed on the lineup card), according to the Bristol Herald Courier. "Coach kind of teased me there a little bit and put me on the mound the other night," Lowry said two nights later. "But tonight was even better for me because it was in Bristol."

Keep him in there: Center fielder Derrick Loveless of the Bluefield Blue Jays produced five extra-base hits, including two home runs, in a three-game series at Pulaski. The homers matched his total from 44 previous games as a professional. "He has potential. We will just have to give him as many at-bats until he goes cold a little bit," Bluefield manager Dennis Holmberg told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.

Anniversary blast: One year and a day after hitting a home run for the University of Arizona in a College World Series victory against Florida State, first baseman Bobby Fisher-Brown homered for the Burlington Royals and belted a game-winning triple in his next at-bat. His long ball was the only home run for the Royals through six games, and it came in a game when Brown was a midgame substitute. "I knew I was coming in in the sixth, so I got ready," he said. "It worked out."

Bob Sutton is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More