Pioneering Spirit

Dodgers' Bosnik finds himself a long way from home





Third baseman Jesse Bosnik knew the Cardinals, Dodgers and Red Sox had scouted him the most thoroughly during his junior year at St. Bonaventure. One of the three clubs probably would draft him, possibly as high as the sixth or seventh round.

As it turned out, the Dodgers waited until the 13th round to call Bosnik's name. But when area scout Rich DeLucia called Bosnik one round earlier, to feel out his willingness to sign, he learned that his draftee-to-be was not following the draft live on the Internet.

Instead, Bosnik was taking batting practice in Wilmington, N.C., back for his second tour of duty in the Coastal Plain League.

"Draft day was interesting," Bosnik recalled. "I stayed at my host parents' house only until the eighth round because I had to be at the park at 3:45. Heading into the draft, I thought realistically I'd go somewhere in the 10th to 12th rounds. So as it got later, I started getting nervous."

Bosnik knew what to expect during the signing process, having been advised by childhood friend Adam Fox, a Double-A second baseman for the Nationals, and former Bonnies slugger Brian Pellegrini, the Astros' 12th-round pick in 2007. In fact, Pellegrini narrowly retained his distinction as the highest draft pick ever from St. Bonaventure.

Bosnik signed quickly and reported to Ogden, Utah, to play in the Rookie-level Pioneer League, a world far removed from Western New York. "The scenery here is awesome," he said. "I've just been taking a bunch of pictures."

Through 63 at-bats, the lefthanded hitter batted .270/.365/.492 with two homers. "The ball carries well in our park," he said. In the early going, however, the 22-year-old had hit much better on the road.

A shortstop in college, Bosnik shifted to the hot corner upon turning pro, though he said he misses the steady action of his old position. "At third, it's more of an instinctive reaction-type position," he said.

Aside from the position switch, Bosnik said his biggest adjustment was the pro ball grind.

"You're dealing with so much stuff here before the game—the lifting, the travel and everything else—that you feel like you've already played a full game before you even take the field. You have to get used to it."

L.A. CONFIDENTIAL

• The Dodgers released 2006 fourth-round pick Kyle Orr, a first baseman who hit .224 for Ogden in 2008-09. He signed for $435,000 four years ago as Canada's best draft talent.

• The Dodgers signed 27-year-old Australian outfielder Trent Oeltjen to a minor league deal after he opted out of his contract with the Brewers. He went 10-for-24 (.417) in his first week with Triple-A Albuquerque.