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Frisco RoughRiders: Media Day Painted An Optimistic Picture

Feb 22, 2017; Surprise, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers pitcher Connor Sadzeck poses for a portrait during photo day at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The RoughRiders Opening Day starter made his way to the media crowd next. Connor Sadzeck has locked in his career-first Opening Day start. He stands at 6’ 7” and weighs in at 240 lbs. Sadzeck is large built, and fast throwing. Right out of the gate, Sadzeck was questioned on his mix of pitches. “I’m going to be throwing my two-seamer more. Actually, (Same) Dyson told me I should throw it more,” he told the crowd. When asked about his secondary pitches, the talks got detailed.

Sadzeck stated that his curve was his best secondary pitched. He stated that he is focused on keeping it as close to a 12-6 rotation as possible. The focus for left-to-right movement would be on his slider. It’s clear that Sadzeck learned a lot from his second Spring Training with the Texas Rangers.

“In your first camp, your kind of star struck. In your second camp, you’re ready to work,” Sadzeck stated. And it appears he learned a lot. When pitching coach Brian Shouse spoke on Sadzeck, it was all about command. The RoughRiders pitching coach will work with Sadzeck on getting the correct placement of all his pitches. The fastball will be their main focus though.

I asked Brian Shouse about Sadzeck throwing his two-seamer more. “He has to trust his stuff,” Shouse told me. “It’s the mental part of the game that we want to focus on.”

I couldn’t help but ask Shouse about Sadzeck’s size. It’s no question that he’s huge. “His size intimidates batters. And it doesn’t hurt that he can throw 95 (miles per hour),” Shouse commented. I did ask if Sadzeck’s size causes any setbacks in what Shouse is able to teach or coach him through.

“Well, I have to tell him not to stand right on top of the mound when I go out for a visit,” Shouse laughingly told me.




It was clear that Shouse was making every move necessary to ensure that Sadzeck was getting the proper coaching and workouts needed to improve his command. Shouse commented on how well Sadzeck took direction and coaching. He also made mention of how well the 25-year-old pitcher worked in-between starts.

The final interview of the day was with Juremi Profar. He is the younger brother of Texas Rangers’ Jurickson Profar. This 21-year-old has made quite an impression on the RoughRiders manager. “I’ve seen him play some nice third base.”

When I spoke with Profar, he stated that third base as his favorite position. However, he was quick to mention his versatility. “I’ll play wherever they need me,” he stated. Profar mentioned that other than third, second base was his next favorite position.

Profar is coming into the 2017 season focused on the basics. He wants to focus on getting hits and not letting his defense down. Last season, Profar managed only one strikeout per 9.04 plate appearances. That’s a phenomenal number that he looks to build on.

Defensively, he is well-rounded. Much like his older brother. Last season, he spent time at all three bags. RoughRiders fans could very well see much of the same kind of positional changes from several players. “Expect to see a mix of lineups,” the RoughRiders Skipper told the media. “Whatever you see Thursday night will not be the set lineup.” Mikulik was adamant about coaching players to be able to move across multiple positions.

The coaching staff seemed extremely optimistic about the roster going into the season. With the caliber of talent that Frisco has, I don’t blame them. This team is definitely built with high-level potential. Once the 2017 season is underway, we will truly see what each of these players are made of. One thing is for certain, the Frisco RoughRiders have a solid shot at bringing home the Championship this year.

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