Paul Goldschmidt – Photography: Jordan Megenhardt
By Jordan Megenhardt
Saturday was the first official practice for everyone other than pitchers and catchers, but many players have been working out at Salt River Fields for more than a week.
“I feel good, I’ve been out here for about ten days, last week, now this week,” said Paul Goldschmidt, the D-backs Minor League Player of the Year in 2010. “The coaches and all the guys have made us all feel comfortable.”
Showing up early to camp is a standard practice, but the spacious new facility made it an even more attractive option this season.
“It’s amazing here, obviously with this brand new complex where everything is (available) at your service, at your request, everything you need,” said outfield prospect Marc Krauss. “It’s pretty awesome, definitely better than I expected.”
“New” seems to be the theme this spring. With the new facility, new coaching staff and the infusion of new veteran faces in the clubhouse, it may be easy to overlook guys like Krauss and the fresh crop of prospects that are appearing in big league camp for the first time.
Young players like Krauss and Goldschmidt, teammates at Class-A Advanced Visalia last year, are taking advantage of every opportunity in big league camp.
“Watching all the big league guys, all the guys that have been around, you want to get some pointers and everything,” Krauss said. “Everyone has something that they can help you out with. I’m just going to see if I can get some of these guys to rub off on me all camp, for as long as I’m around. I’ll try to mingle and fit in and see what I can learn and take from this experience.”
While soaking up the experience and taking cues from veterans, the younger guys hope to gain an advantage that will help propel them to new levels throughout the upcoming season.
“Watching these guys prepare, they obviously know what they’re doing and have been doing it a lot longer than I have,” Goldschmidt said, “so anything that I can pick up from them whether it’s mental preparation or physical skills or just little adjustments that I need to make, I’ll try to do that while I’m here as well as get ready for the start of the regular season.”
“I watched Kelly Johnson hit yesterday and watching the way he hits the ball the other way, he has so much power, he’s so good.”
After just the first day of full-squad workouts, it appears the D-backs roster is happy to get baseball season started. Despite the overcast skies and impending threat of rain throughout the morning, it certainly was not hard to find guys laughing and smiling.