PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Zacrey Law learned very early that individual success is not as important as team goals.
The 18-year-old outfielder was drafted in the 23rd round last year by the Tampa Bay Rays after being named the Central Texas 2014 player of the year for a stellar high school senior season.
While he has shone individually, Law, a native of Waco, knows the importance of being a good teammate.
“I just try to be the best person and the best teammate I can possibly be,” said Law, at the Charlotte Sports Park, Thursday afternoon. “I just try to be selfless.
“Baseball is a team sport, it’s not an individual sport, so you have to give to the team.”
Law had committed to play at Dallas Baptist University prior to being drafted by the Rays, but, with the help of his family, he decided to skip a post-secondary education for pro baseball.
“My parents and I talked about it and we just felt like this was the best choice for me and my family at the time,” said Law. “I get my inspiration from (my father). He’s really pushed me throughout these years.”
The 5-foot-8 centre-fielder hit .495 with 40 RBIs, seven home runs, and had 29 stolen bases as a senior at Robinson High School in Robinson before making the jump to the rookie-class Gulf Coast League.
“It was tough,” said Law. “Playing every day, being out in the heat every day, but you’ve got to battle and find a way to get through it.”
During his introduction to the Florida heat last summer, Law hit .255 with 10 RBIs, five doubles, and two triples in 29 games with the GCL Tigers. Now he’s back in the sunshine state for his inaugural spring training, excited to grind it out with his teammates.
“It’s been a blessing being out here and getting to play the sport I love for a living,” said Law. “It wears and tears on your body, getting up early every day, running from field to field, and throwing all the time, but I still love it.”
The youngster isn’t worried about what level he’ll play at this season, but he’s looking to use his speed and work ethic to help his team win, wherever he ends up.
“My speed is one of my better tools that I put on display on the field,” said Law. “I want to steal 40 bags and be pretty aggressive on the base path.”
“I’m just going to go out there, bust my butt, and see where it takes me.”
Follow Mitch Sanderson — @Mitch_Sanderson