PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla—It’s been a roller-coaster ride for one Tampa Bay Ray prospect who has faced adversity.
Granden Goetzman, a left-fielder who has played the last four season with the Rays minor-league organization, was drafted right out of high school in 2011 where he was taken in the second round.
The 22 year old has faced many injuries but Goetzman has found many positives from the obstacles.
“I’ve had a roller-coaster ride, when I was drafted out of high school I came here and I had shoulder surgery right off the bat so that was a big adversity that I had to over come,” said Goetzman at the Rays’ media room behind Charlotte Sports Park Thursday. “Then I had another injury in 2012 with a LT stress fracture (back) so I had to battle trough injuries to come back, it’s kind of a blessing in disguise because it really teaches you. It taught me how to work and prepare myself.”
The last two seasons Goetzman played in 110 games where he had 111 hits, 44 RBIs, and a .271 average.
Not only did Goetzman have to recover from two injuries, but two yeas ago his father passed away the day he had to report to spring training camp. For Goetzman this was one of the toughest things he’s had to deal with.
“He had cancer, it was during the off-season that it really got strong and that time there really wasn’t much to offer, we tried to do everything we could but we weren’t promised anything,” Goetzman said. “It was during the off-season so I would go and do my workouts because I had to prepare for the season because that’s what I was doing regardless of the situation, regardless of what was going on I had to do what I had to do.
“So I would do my workouts in the morning and afternoon and then I would go straight to the hospital. I’d be right there with him, a lot of times he wouldn’t be able to talk. It was real sad.”
Through his tough times, Goetzman had support from teammates and coaches, especially from his hitting coach Dan DeMent, while he was playing with the single-A Bowling Green Hotrods.
“He has kind of seen me grow and he’s always helped me, said Goetzman. “I can talk to him about whatever the case might be, whether it’s about baseball or life. Dan helped me out with that situation.”
Follow Tyler Bitton on Twitter @TBitton8