It's great to have fun playing baseball again. I'm enjoying the game a lot more than I did in 2017. Last year brought a lot of pain after the death of my close friend Branden Moss. I felt so numb. It was terrible to go through, but I learned from
It's great to have fun playing baseball again. I'm enjoying the game a lot more than I did in 2017. Last year brought a lot of pain after the death of my close friend Branden Moss. I felt so numb. It was terrible to go through, but I learned from it and grew from it. It helped me mature as a player and person. Now, I'm getting back to my old self and having fun.
Sometimes, I feel like my friend is living through me. He was a happy guy, always positive. I'm talking more, and I try to always be smiling. If you treat people the right way in this game, your name goes a long way. That's important to me. I try to show up to the ballpark and be the same person every day. Not let the game get the best of me, try to have fun with it, no matter what happens.
My family has helped me a lot. My daughter, Peyton, and my wife, Bria, are my world. I'm always with my family. I try to keep them with me as much as I can. To be hands-on with my daughter, be there every step of the way, and to be with my wife, it's awesome.
On the field, I feel like I am growing every day as a player. I'm getting better at shortstop. I'm getting better as a hitter, as a baserunner.
I am among the Major League leaders in stolen bases. I hope everyone in the stadium knows that if I get to first, I'm going to steal. That's always been my game. I feel like I got away from it last year. I wasn't using my legs. This year, I am.
My speed is something that works in this game very well. Being able to take that extra base, steal a base in a key situation, that's always huge for a team. You can score much easier from second than from first.
I'm doing a lot of homework studying the pitchers. I try to see what sticks out when a pitcher goes to the plate or when he goes over to first. Our third-base coach, Nick Capra, does a great job feeding me information. I use it, and it's been working.
I want the pitchers to know I'm over there, hopefully get them a little jittery. I drew two balks in one night. They know I'm over there, and they know I'm going.
The goal is to be a complete player. I haven't been a full-time baseball player for that long. Now I'm able to just focus on just baseball, and it's been great. I'm working my tail off every day, and it's showing. The more reps, the more games I play, it all allows me to continue to grow. There's still a lot more in there as far as what I can do as a player.
It's just great that everything has been better this year. The light has been bright from the dark moments of last year. I've been enjoying the ride.
As told to Ed Sherman.