Forrest Snow Checks In From Albuquerque
Forrest Snow, the former Husky hurler from Seattle, is rapidly working his way up the ladder of the Seattle Mariners' organization. In fact, he's made it all the way up to the AAA level with the Tacoma Rainiers (he's actually played for three different teams in the Mariners' chain this summer). Forrest got in touch with the following rundown of his recent travels:
With one month left in my first full professional season, I now fully understand what the "dog days" of August truly mean (even though I think it should be spelled Dawg).
After four months and over 100 games in the books, I bring you this update from the Mariner's AAA team in Tacoma, on a road-trip in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
After a very successful mini-camp and spring training in February/March, my season started in April in Clinton, Iowa, home of our Low-A team, the Lumber Kings. To say the least, the Midwest League is one-of-a-kind. Nestled on the bank of the mighty Mississippi River, Clinton is your typical Midwest farm town, full of all the sights, sounds and smells you'd expect from the middle of nowhere. The first thing I noticed when I got off the bus was the smell. Just outside the city limits, a dog food factory emits an unmistakable odor which, when the humidity rises, makes the whole city smell like a kennel.
My favorite part of the Midwest was the crazy thunderstorms. On a long bus ride back from Appleton, Wisconsin, I was awoken from blissful slumber by a barrage of strobe-light lightning. Needless to say, my nose was pressed against the window for the rest of the ride.
After two months and 13 starts in Clinton, I was promoted to our Advanced-A team in Southern California, the High Desert Mavericks. Yet again, Adelanto, Calif., was a city in the middle of nowhere. Instead of corn and dog food, the desert landscape was littered with cacti and sagebrush. The Cal League, notorious for being a hitter's paradise, lived up to its hype. Our home field was small, the infield was hard, and the wind blew straight out to left-center, making it a pitcher's worst nightmare. I took this as an opportunity to learn how to pitch down in the zone, keeping the ball in the park, and forcing as many groundballs as I could.
The day before my seventh start in High Desert, I was called into our manager's office and told I would meet our triple-A team on the road in Salt Lake City. I made my debut that night against Salt Lake, striking out 9 in 6 innings of relief work.
Two days later, I was home. I hadn't seen my family since January and was excited to pitch in front of a Washington crowd. Needless to say, the reunion was a joyful and successful one. I've had two more outings since then, one at home in Tacoma, and one here in Albuquerque.
One of the biggest differences between the lower levels and AAA is the approach of the hitters. They swing and miss less often, and hit mistakes more often. But there's no better way to learn than the hard way, in combat. Every day is another chance to get better, to work on something that can make my arsenal more dangerous, and I intend to take my skills all the way to the top. Go Dawgs!
More updates to come...
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