LAKELAND, Fla.—Dominic Ficociello wanted to take his time to get to the big leagues.
Ficociello was drafted by the Detroit Tigers out of Fullerton Union high school in 2010 (23rd round). But the switch hitter needed time to mature and grow into a player that was going to be ready to compete at a high level.
So after he finished his stay at the University of Arkansas, the Tigers selected Dominic Ficociello in the 12th round of the 2013 draft.
“Personally I didn’t think I was ready mentally or physically out of high school, I was real good in high school, I put up great numbers, but yet again a lot of kids do,” said Ficociello, at the Tiger Town Complex on Friday. “From a personal standpoint I didn’t think I was mentally or physically mature enough or ready enough to play professional baseball.”
The 22 year old came out of high school knowing that the Tigers were not willing to meet his financial demands and wanted to fulfill his dream of playing college baseball.
“I have always been a kid that with my parents and family that have gone to college baseball and thought it was the coolest thing ever,” said the infielder.
“College baseball is really what I wanted at the beginning.”
He spent three years with the Razorbacks baseball program and finished his junior season with 58 hits, 30 runs batted in, 26 runs, in 59 games.
The University of Arkansas offered Ficociello the proper resources to develop and learn through playing every day with his college coaches. He wanted to learn his lesson on how to accept and deal with failure.
“Mentally in high school I didn’t fail that much, I never batted under.400 in high school. It was easy for me in high school and I didn’t really know what failure was too much,” said Ficociello.
The second year pro has been very happy with his decision that he went through the Arkansas program and gain knowledge that he didn’t have.
“The coaches taught me a lot about the game that I thought I knew coming out of high school,” said the Los Angeles native. “How to hit, how to learn about pitch sequences and which pitches they will throw in certain counts.”
Ficociello played for the West Michigan Whitecaps in the Midwest League for the 2014 season. In 134 games he had a .275 batting average, 146 hits, 53 runs batted in, and six home runs.
Approaching the 2015 season, Ficociello wants to continue improving his game and develop his offence. He feels that this will allow his game to reach the next level.
“The biggest thing I need to improve on is probably being more consistent and patient at the plate.”