The first time I met Revs’ outfielder Matt Esquivel was at the preseason Media Day hosted by the team at Sovereign Bank Stadium.
The idea was, we would ask for players who would join us in the dugout for interviews, when a rather large guy didn’t wait to be called. He entered the dugout and introduced himself.
It was a refreshing change. Some of the guys in the Atlantic League come to their new teams with an understandable chip on their shoulders.
Many have been recently released from Major League organizations and while they are glad to be still playing some kind of professional ball, they aren’t always happy to be in York or Lancaster or Camden or Long Island.
Some feel talking to local press in a place they don’t want to be is a drag. Hey, I can somewhat understand that. Yet, that wasn’t the case with Esquivel. Far from it.
He is listed as 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, but Esquivel looks much bigger. The funny thing is, he didn’t talk about hitting with power. The first thing he said is “I am big, but fast.” He wanted to talk about base running and fielding.
You know what? He was right.
Not only did he hit for average (.294) and power (13 home runs), he also stole seven bases and was able to take an extra base too.
Esquivel wasn’t bad in the outfield either, playing the 38-foot left field wall fairly well.
Plus, he remained very accommodating for interviews and seemed to be a good guy in the clubhouse.
While his goal — as is most Atlantic League players’ goal — is to make it back to affiliated baseball, I am sure he would be a welcome player to have back in town in 2009.