Josh Prince Gaining Confidence In The Outfield
MILWAUKEE — Josh Prince still remembers the unexpected conversation he had with two weeks remaining in spring training with Brewers minor league outfield coordinator Reggie Williams.
"He came up to me and said, 'Do you have an outfield glove?' " Prince said. "I said, 'No, I don't. Why would I have an outfield glove? I've never played outfield in my life.' He said, 'We want to see if you can play the outfield.'"
And those words ended Prince's career as a shortstop, the position he had played since being selected in the third round of the 2009 draft out of Tulane.
"The next day, I was in center field in a game," Prince said. "I said, 'What do I do? Just go run after the ball? I'm kind of lost.' So, I just ran and tried to catch the ball."
Prince, 24, has been trying to catch up ever since. The change of positions didn't prevent him from hitting .415/.500/.585 through 18 games in the Arizona Fall League.
It was a coming-out party of sorts for Prince, who attributed it to finally being healthy. In 2010 at high Class A Brevard County, he separated his shoulder in spring training, and back at Brevard in 2011 he tore a groin muscle at midseason, compromising perhaps his primary tool—speed. This year, promoted to Double-A Huntsville and playing his new position most of the time, he stayed on the field for 137 games, batting .251/.346/.360 with 41 stolen bases.
"A lot of it is being healthy and getting my confidence back that I'm 100 percent," Prince said. "I do feel a little more comfortable in the outfield now."
• Shortstop Hector Gomez, who was claimed off waivers during the season from the Rockies, was sent outright to Triple-A Nashville. He batted .105/.179/.211 in 23 games with Brevard County.
• Righthander Cody Scarpetta, who missed the entire season after Tommy John surgery, was outrighted to Nashville, as was second baseman Eric Farris.