"It was a great experience," Carmen Angelini
said of participating in Dominican Instructs. "I didn't really know what to expect going down there. Just getting to see the way of life down there in the Dominican, it makes it a lot easier to relate to the guys coming into Tampa from the Dominican. You see what they go through."
Soaking in many different aspects of professional baseball already, it took him a little while to actually get into games at the Yankees' Dominican facility as he was dealing with a minor bout of wrist tendonitis.
"I think the last day of Instructional League in Tampa it kind of flared up and I took a week off when I came home," he said of the minor injury. "Then I started hitting again right before I went back down to Tampa for the second time before we went to the Dominican.
"I think I just reaggravated that tendonitis so while I was in Tampa right before we went down I rested it. I spent the first four or five days down in the Dominican just easing my wrist."
Finally getting into games on November 10th, he is quite happy with his performance and says the wrist wasn't an issue when their camp ended on Saturday.
"I did pretty well," he revealed. "I had a few hits. I started squaring up the ball a lot more than I had [in Tampa]. I had quite a few quality at-bats. I was hitting the ball hard but I was just hitting it right at people. I don't think it was anything to be ashamed of, I think I did pretty well."
Signing a bit later than most prospects, while he had relatively no minor league experience during the season, he says getting indoctrinated to professional baseball with two Instructional Leagues has served him well.
"I guess it was kind of good for me in a way that I got acclimated to the system this way," he admitted. "I really had no idea what to expect when I first got drafted.
"Just playing ball for two or three weeks at a time then coming back home and then going back out to play ball, it got me accustomed to pro ball really well. It gave me a great idea of what to expect for Spring Training."
Not only have the Instructional Leagues given him a good idea of what to expect from a routine standpoint, they have also painted a much clearer picture of how he stacks up against other professional ball players.
"I feel better and better everyday that I play," he said of his confidence level. "I think as long as I keep working hard and keep working towards my goals, competition is not a problem at all. I can compete with these guys any day of the week."
Now with his offseason officially starting on Sunday, he is preparing to get to work on his main priority before Spring Training - getting stronger!
"Of course I'm going to take a couple of days of just to recuperate and spend some time with my family, but I'm thinking by Wednesday of this week I should be hitting the weight room," said Angelini. "As far the offseason goes, getting a little bit bigger and a little bit stronger and doing some speed training as well, that's the main focus."
Even though his professional experience has been somewhat limited thus far, he thinks he has seen enough to put some realistic goals together for 2008.
"Transitioning from high school pitching to pro pitching is something that definitely takes time but I don't think it's going to be a problem for me at all," he said confidently. "Personally I don't think setting a goal of [breaking with] Staten Island or Charleston is a bad goal at all.
"I think it's very achievable for me. I know personally I feel really confident in myself that I could play for either one of those ball clubs, I feel very confident about that."
Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine, including our special Yankees Prospects Guide, included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.
|Become an annual subscriber today!|
Even though he got just one at-bat with the Gulf Coast League Yankees, Carmen Angelini just completed his second Instructional League down in the Dominican Republic and he now has a better understanding of how he stacks up at the professional level. Now acclimated, his confidence is as high as ever.
Even with essentially no minor league experience, Carmen Angelini is getting acclimated.