PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays prospect Johnny Field has one key piece of advice for anyone hoping to become a baseball player.
Knowing how to set goals has taught the Rays minor-league outfielder how to get the most out of his career.
When Field grasped the concept of reaching his full potential, he knew he was not far off from being the best he could be.
“Setting goals at a young age has always helped me out to be the best I can be and that’s advice I’d give any young kid who wants to play professional baseball one day,” Field said on Thursday at the Charlotte Sports Park, the Rays spring training facility. “Set your goals high and do whatever it takes to reach those goals.”
Last season he split his time between the Bowling Green Hot Rods and the Charlotte Stone Crabs where he had a combine batting average of .300 with 140 hits in 122 games.
Field grew up in an athletic family. His father was drafted by the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and coached his son in a handful of sports.
“He was an incredible father. For my entire life he coached me in everything, very, very involved.” Field said. “He coached me in soccer, wrestling, baseball, he put a lot of time and effort into me and my little brother and gave us every opportunity to succeed growing up.
“I never felt any pressure, I just always felt determined to push myself to be the best I could and work hard, it was great having him push me in the right direction to give myself a chance to succeed.”
Field was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the fifth round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft from the University of Arizona. Field was the Tampa Bay Rays’ Minor League Player of the Year in 2014.
“It was a great honour. Last year I was fortunate to stay healthy all year and it was my first full season with the Rays and I put together some good months,” Field said. “It was humbling. I felt really honoured they thought that highly of me.
“A lot of things went my way that year in terms of staying healthy, and having good coaches, playing for them and good teammates around me I was fortunate to finish the year strong.”
Field has high hopes for his season ahead. Working hard and setting his goals will improve his performance and enhance his chances at going farther in his career.
“I would love to play for the Rays. Now that I’m here I love the organization, I love how they take a lot of pride in bringing up their prospects,” said Field. “I’d love to play for them and help them win a championship someday.”
Follow Naté Maetzener on Twitter @taymaetz