The Fabiaschi Dream Continues....
The Fabiaschi Dream Continues....
TORRINGTON: When he first made the journey to spring training as a newcomer to pro baseball three seasons ago, Torrington native Michael Fabiaschi had no idea what he to expect.
After being drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 38th round in 2010 out of James Madison University, the former Red Raider standout felt what all rookies in that spot feel, the fear of the unknown.
What was the pro routine? What was he being evaluated for? What chance did he have to make a team right out of the rigors of spring?
If a grounder goes through my legs on his first chance should he check what time checkout is from the hotel?
Fast forward to 2013 and you see and hear a confident, in shape and ready for anything pro ball player who got another invite in mid-January to pursue his dream.
"You always check the mail a little more often when the new year comes around," Fabiaschi said, "The only person you hear from is an athletic trainer every couple of weeks to see how your off season is going. Are you working out, staying in shape and eating right, those kind of things."
Fabiaschi has made himself a very valuable part of the A's farm system doing what made him successful at every other level; his ability to play multiple positions.
Name an infield position and he's spent some time there over the past 10 years at all levels.
What did this years letter say and was there any insight into who he may be playing for?
"The letter just tells me when to report." Fabiaschi said. "I have to be there by March 10 but I'm flying out on Wednesday to get to the apartment I share with two other players early."
Jordan Tripp, an outfielder from California who was picked during the same draft as Fabiaschi and Chad Lewis, a third baseman also picked in 2010 will get themselves to camp early to get some work in with the former Raider before the official reporting day.
Hey, it's a job interview and getting there early to spend extra time throwing batting practice or fielding grounders can only help.
That and the adjustment to the time and temperature change.
Unlike his West Coast teammates who have been working outdoors most of the winter, the Northwest Corner infielder is looking forward to seeing some green grass.
"It's hard to work out inside gyms all winter without much time out in the elements," Fabiaschi said, "I'll be going from forty degrees to eighty in a day."
Buckets of Gatorade and water are essential in the Fabs routine.
"I guzzle both of them all day long trying not to get dehydrated."
After spending a few days getting used to the change of scenery and time adjustment, it's time to get down to some serious work, seven days of hard work.
"We start each day at 6:30 by heading to the complex. We eat breakfast, have meetings that cover everything from agents to drug testing and social media."
From there it's time to get outside and get down to the fundamentals which are drilled into the young and old in camps across the south and west.
Running, batting practice bunt drills and the like make up the morning until the players break for lunch and then it's game time.
"Every day at one, we have games," Fabiaschi said," Four a day at different levels of the organization. Low A, High A, AA and AAA. You try and play as much as you can and get as many at bats as possible."
The A's farm hands will play against squads from the Angels, Diamondbacks, Rockies and Cubs most days.
Oh yeah, throw in conditioning drill and you hope you kept yourself in good enough shape during the winter.
This adventure comes with no guarantees. A player can be sent packing in a minute.
Fabiaschi feels he is ready to show the A's more of what has made him valuable over the past three years.
"I think I'm in an interesting spot with the team. It's just a feeling I have but I think they trust that they can use me at any level and I'll help that team."
This winter, Fabiaschi took his training to the next level as well.
"I focused more this winter on my diet," Fabiaschi said. "I feel good, hit the weights and spent time working on my hitting at The Hit Club."
Fabiaschi gave lessons to future hopefuls at the Club in Thomaston and worked with fellow Athletic, Evan Scribner who also worked his craft in the same location.
What does Fabiaschi think is in store for him this year?
"It's always so hard to tell what's going to happen," Fabiaschi said, "I had a great spring a year ago when I hit .385 and didn't break with a team. There are only so many spots and sometimes things don't go your way."
One thing is for sure, a young man who is always number one in the hearts and minds of Torrington folks will always give it his all.
Another year, another chance to walk as a pro with pro's.
Best of luck my friend.