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Bote, Vosler thrilled to work with Trammell

Cubs prospects take instructions from soon-to-be Hall of Famer in AFL
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

MESA, Ariz. -- When Cubs prospects David Bote and Jason Vosler reported to the Arizona Fall League, they didn't expect to get some encouragement from a soon-to-be Hall of Famer.

The Cubs prospects played on the Mesa Solar Sox along with players from the Tigers' organization last fall. Alan Trammell, who will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July, was a guest instructor for a short time with the Mesa team and made a huge impression.

MESA, Ariz. -- When Cubs prospects David Bote and Jason Vosler reported to the Arizona Fall League, they didn't expect to get some encouragement from a soon-to-be Hall of Famer.

The Cubs prospects played on the Mesa Solar Sox along with players from the Tigers' organization last fall. Alan Trammell, who will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July, was a guest instructor for a short time with the Mesa team and made a huge impression.

"He came out, and he was super nice, great guy," said Bote, an infielder and the Cubs' No. 15 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. "He started hitting fungoes and shagging batting practice and came up and talked to everyone. He was there to be a mentor -- not even a mentor, he was there to have fun, it felt like.

"It was so cool, and a humbling experience to be with him," Bote said. "To see him get into the Hall of Fame, it was a really cool moment. That guy was out there shagging my BP, and he's a Hall of Famer."

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The Hall of Fame announcement didn't happen until December, so the Cubs pair had no idea Trammell was headed to Cooperstown. Trammell, who turned 60 on Wednesday, didn't call the kids together for a lecture. That's not his style.

"It wasn't like he sat down and talked to us, but more on-the-field stuff," Vosler said Friday. "He was kind of cool because right when he got [to Mesa], he immersed himself into the whole thing, right on the field, introducing himself to everybody. Most of the coordinators who came from other teams worked with their own guys, and he worked with the whole team, which was awesome."

Vosler and Bote both knew who Trammell was.

"He introduced himself, and it's like, 'Oh my God, who better to learn from?'" Vosler said.

Video: Trammell reflects on his Hall of Fame election

During batting practice, Trammell would be on the field near second base to talk footwork, glove work.

"He was just like a regular guy out there with us," Vosler said.

"He was saying, 'Hey, nice work, nice feed, nice flip,'" Bote said. "He wasn't giving any real instruction, he was just kind of there. He'd say, 'Good hands, good feet.' He said, 'I don't want to step on toes for what the Cubs have you doing, but you look really good.' It was a humbling experience, for sure."

On Friday, Bote had another Hall of Fame experience. He was doing some early work in Mesa, and Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg came over to watch.

"He said, 'I have to pull out my phone and video you,'" Bote said. "A Cubs Hall of Famer and one of the most famous Cubs players in the world is watching my early work and videotaping it. That's something special, a really cool thing to be a part of."

Last season, Vosler batted .241 at Double-A Tennessee and Bote hit .272. This is their first big league camp, and they're soaking it all in.

"It's awesome, and it's especially awesome to get a chance to learn from players like Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo," Bote said. "To me, it's just watching the routine and their work ethic. Every single one of them has been really open, but for me just watching them go about their day is very cool."

Who knows? Maybe one day, Bryant or Rizzo will be headed to Cooperstown.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, David Bote, Jason Vosler