Baseball: Ottavino promoted to Class A

Baseball: Ottavino promoted to Class A

For former Northeastern pitcher Adam Ottavino, a promotion at work will bring more than a new desk.

It entails bigger hitters, tougher competition and a change of scenery.

The former ace of the Northeastern baseball team was promoted to the Swing of the Quad Cities, the St. Louis Cardinals’ full-season Class A affiliate in Davenport, Iowa. Ottavino had recently played for the State College Spikes of the New York-Penn League.

Northeastern’s all-time strikeout leader has jumped to the professional leagues in a big way, going 2-2 with a 3.14 ERA in six starts for State College, including a stretch of 19 innings without giving up a run. He was also named the New York Penn League’s Pitcher of the Week for July 2-9.

“It’s been great so far – they’ve taught me a lot,” Ottavino said. “I want to get better every day, that’s my main focus, and also learning to be competitive at this level is important.”

Life in the minors is nothing like the glamour of the big leagues that awaits Ottavino if he succeeds. There’s only one important element in the lives of young players on farm teams: baseball.

“It’s all baseball. There’s not much down time,” Ottavino said. “You sleep in, eat right, put in your work, arrive early to the park, and then the game comes and you do it all again for the next game.”

Ottavino is part of an exclusive club of young players who were drafted in the first round and appear destined for the bright lights of major league play. But he remains modest, despite all the attention.

“It’s not that different. You get a lot of autograph requests and fan mail, and you do get a little more recognition,” he said.

Ottavino is one of four former Huskies now playing professional baseball. Pitcher David Pellegrine was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and now plays for the Orem Owlz of the Pioneer League in Orem, Utah. Centerfielder Chris Emanuele was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays and plays for the Pulaski Blue Jays of the Appalachian League in Pulaski, Va. Former catcher Matt Morizio, who was drafted by the Kansas City Royals and plays for the Idaho Falls Chukars, is also learning the ropes of life as a minor league ball player.

“Things are going well. I’ve gotten to see a different part of the country,” Morizio said. “To be honest, I’d expect it to be a lot more glamorous than it is. We don’t have the perks that most people have until you make the big time. I live in a hotel with a teammate. There’s not a kitchen but we have to buy all our meals. We go to the park at 2 p.m. for a game at 7 p.m., and four out of the seven days we lift [weights] at 10 a.m. for about an hour.”

Currently, Pellegrine is 0-0 with the Owlz, posts a 2.08 ERA and has allowed only one run in four appearances. Emanuele has been seeing plenty of playing time in Pulaski, and in 127 at bats he has posted a .291 batting average and is tied with three other teammates for most hits on the team with 37. Morizio is posting good numbers as well, showing promises of the hitting prowess he had at Northeastern with a .302 batting average and a .400 OBP.

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