Steady. Confident. Looking ahead to 2013.
Those three bursts of thought would well describe the year of 2012 for Princeton Rays' infielder Reid Redman as well as a competent grasp of the road in front of him and what it will take to get him where he wants to go.
His numbers this past summer with the P-Rays would echo all of these sentiments as he played in 60 of the P-Rays' 68 games enroute to recording a .265 batting average (60-for-226) that included 15 doubles, two triples, two homers, and 26 RBI to go along with 40 runs scored, 21 walks, and six stolen bases.
Ask Redman and he saw a degree of preparedness, but still room for improvement, toiling for the P-Rays following a spring that saw him appear in 34 of 56 games for Texas Tech.
"The biggest change about pro ball was the adjustment of just being out there every night. I might not have been totally prepared but I will use the 2012 season as a good building block to use in getting ready for next season," said Redman as part of an early-morning November 28 phone interview.
Flip the calendar back to last spring and it's duly noted that Redman put up the kind of numbers at Texas Tech to get pro scouts' attention by hitting .325 (41-for-126) for the Red Raiders against opponents in one of the best collegiate baseball conferences in the country, The Big 12.
The next logical step was a waiting game for Redman, the 2012 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft! After being drafted the year before in the 37th round by (but not signing with) the Los Angeles Dodgers, who would fill the role of Redman's first professional baseball employer?
The answer came in the 23rd round of this past June's draft in the form of the Tampa Bay Rays. For Redman though, it was a waiting game for him as well to learn the colors of the next uniform he would be wearing.
"I really had no idea who was going to take me this year. I had a lot of good discussions and a good relationship with my signing scout for the Rays, Pat Murphy. I was just hoping that I had done enough to warrant getting drafted," shared Redman, who added that he felt the Angels, Dodgers, Giants, and Indians were some other organizations he thought might select him.
One big adjustment upon Redman's arrival in Princeton was the shift to seeing a large portion of his playing time here at second base after primarily being a third baseman during his college days. He credited a lot of assistance from the Rays' coaching staff and roving instructors in enabling him to be comfortable playing either defensive position.
And, like those who have played in Princeton before him, Redman got a large dose of the 21st annual Mercer Cup Series between the P-Rays and their cross-county rivals, the Bluefield Blue Jays. The trophy is awarded annually to the winner of the Princeton-Bluefield regular season series and the 2012 edition saw the Cup returned to Princeton after a year's absence as the P-Rays captured six of the eleven games against Bluefield.
"The Mercer Cup Series was definitely exciting and got all our guys excited. We know how much winning it means to the folks in Princeton, so the least we could do is try to get the Cup back," commented the Texas native, who just celebrated his 24th birthday on November 22.
He modestly failed to add that he played key roles in games nine and ten of the Cup series when, after the series was tied at four victories apiece. He went 2-4 with one RBI in a victorious game nine for the P-Rays. He shined big also the next night, August 8, in Mercer Cup game ten by knocking home the game-winning run at home in the bottom of the 13th inning in a Cup-clinching 4-3 decision over Bluefield.
Redman did have one personal high note that his 2012 Princeton season ended on when he was announced as the recipient of the 2012 Princeton Rays' "Most Popular Player" award as the result of season-long voting by fans.
"I was pretty surprised to win the award. We are always busy playing, so I didn't even really know it was going on or gave it a thought. The award does mean a lot to me since it is from the fans that followed us and there are certainly a lot of great folks in Princeton," said Redman.
Hopefully, Redman will advance up the Tampa Bay player development ladder. He moved to Houston the week after Thanksgiving to begin workouts in preparation for spring training in Port Charlotte, FL. These moves and aspirations might make Princeton somewhat shrink in his rear view mirror. However, Redman's memories of his time in Mercer County will probably grow fonder and larger with the passing years.
"My family spent some time in Princeton this past summer. They really enjoyed it and how pretty the area was. That's the same opinion I left with. My parents felt so good that everyone in Princeton were so friendly and that I had a great 'host mom' (Kim Mutterback) for the summer. I'll certainly never forget my time there," concluded Redman.
To get more immediate and breaking information year-round on Princeton Rays Professional Baseball as it occurs, do not forget that the P-Rays are now on Facebook. Be sure to check out and "like" our Facebook section on our website at www.princetonrays.net. Don't miss your opportunity to sign up for this free service! ANOTHER FREE OPPORTUNITY for you to keep up with your P-Rays is to follow the team on "Twitter" at @princetonrays or by accessing www.twitter.com/princetonrays.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.