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Fabiaschi enjoying solid season in Oakland farm system

POSTED August 27, 2011
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson

Rick Wilson (left) caught up with former Torrington High School star Michael Fabiaschi recently in Wappingers Falls, New York. Fabiaschi and his Oakland Athletics Single A affiliate, the Vermont Lake Monsters, were in New York for a series with the Hudson Valley Renegades. Read the story you will find only here. Great to see a hometown boy living the dream!

                           Fabiaschi enjoying solid season in Oakland farm system

             FISHKILL, N.Y. – On one of those warm, sun-filled perfect summer nights that is seemingly created for baseball, Mike Fabiaschi’s mood parallels the weather.

            Appearing regularly in the lineup for the Vermont Lake Monsters, the Oakland Athletics’ Single A minor league affiliate in the New York-Penn League, and just two days removed from his first professional home run ( grand slam), it is a good time for the former Torrington High and James Madison University star who was drafted in the 38th round in 2010 and played at Vancouver in the Northwest League last summer, hitting .234.

            “The grand slam was pretty special,” admitted Fabiaschi as he sat in the dugout at Duchess County Stadium before a game with the Hudson Valley Renegades. “We were down, 3-1 and there were two outs.  It was a change up and I knew I hit it hard enough I just wasn’t sure it was high enough. I was just trying to haul around the bases.

            “We ended up winning 8-3 (over Hudson Valley). The cool thing was that my parents were there for the weekend.”

            The home run was the high point in what has been a high time in Fabiaschi’s second pro season. He is hitting .263 with one home run and 14 RBI. But more importantly is that he has played in 32 games for the Renegades and been a regular the last 15 games or so, with several three-hit efforts registered.

             Being in the lineup tops numbers when it comes to the bottom line about assessing how the season is going.

             “I avoid looking at the numbers,” said Fabiaschi. “It’s something that is difficult to control in a short setting with limited playing time. You look to see if you are in the lineup every day. If you are, they can’t give up on you.”

             The NY-Penn League is what they call a short league with a 75-game schedule which means few off-days. The Lake Monsters are currently 33-31 with a good shot at the playoffs. The regular season is scheduled to end Sept. 5 with the post-season to follow.

              Fabiaschi has seen improvement with his bat this season but his best asset looking towards the future may be his defensive versatility. As for the bat, it has come along at a level when there is no drop off in the pitching from first inning to last, from one game to the next.

              “I’ve improved. I’m driving the ball and I’ve always had a good knack for the strike zone,” said Fabiaschi. “I just keep looking to drive the ball to the gaps.  It is tough because you are always hitting against a top of the line pitcher.  Combined with the schedule, it can be tough physically and mentally.

              “You can be as hot as the beach and then two days later nothing. Sometimes hitting is the easiest thing in the world and there are times when you wonder if you will ever get a hit.’

               The key to Fabiaschi’s future may rest with the glove, however. He has played every infield position except first base with most of his action at third base and short, a little different than his second base days for Torrington.

               “The biggest thing is that I can play second, shortstop and third base,” said Fabiaschi. “Not many guys can do this. The more variety the better my chances are. The name of the game is variety.”

               Recently manager Jared Sandberg asked Fabiaschi if he had ever caught before.

               “He said if you can catch it is one thing that will keep you around,” said Fabiaschi who is willing to do anything that will enhance his chances to keep chasing the dream.

                Fabiaschi gets little clue from higher ups as to performance assessment. The best evaluation is whether he is in the lineup.

               “There is not too much feedback long term like where you will be next year,” said Fabiaschi. “The more time you are in the lineup it is a good sign. “

               Fabiaschi’s schedule reflects his profession – baseball player. Any free time is usually spent resting. He does lift weights two or three times a week and for home games arrives at the field at 1:30 for a 7 p.m. game.  Once there he will play some cards and get his early work in.”

              And in less than a month it will all be over and he will be back in Torrington. He says other than the being told that he shouldn’t play any baseball until November by the team, he will hear little else until Feb. or March and spring training rolls around.

               As for the off-season?

               “I will work, maybe do some substitute teaching,” said Fabiaschi.  

               He also may hoist up a few jump shots for those who remember the terrific touch from the heady guard that helped the Torrington High basketball team to the 2006 state championship.

               In the meantime, the baseball dream is on track as a promising future continues to beckon.       


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