Photo courtesy of Brad Richardson/Seminole Beacon
Bloodlines and Baselines -- Player with familial connections to Norwalk looks to make it with the Astros
By BOB BIRGE
Hour Correspondent | 1 comment
Welcome to rookie ball, kid, baseball's version of boot camp.
Arrive at the ballpark at 6 a.m., practice until 10, followed by a nine-inning game at noon and arrive home at 4 p.m.
That is the daily routine that Brett Phillips -- whose father Brett James Phillips grew up in Norwalk and still has relatives in the city -- has encountered since joining the Kissimmee Astros, Houston's team in the Gulf Coast Rookie League.
And he is loving every minute of it.
"It's definitely something I'm going to have to grind out and get used to," said the 18-year-old Phillips, who was chosen by the Astros with the first pick in the sixth round of Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft out of Florida's Seminole High School. "Other than that, it's been awesome. It's always been something I wanted to do and it's been a dream of mine."
That dream came true when he signed with the Astros on June 11. Phillips, who reported to Kissimmee the next day, received a signing bonus of $300,000. A clause was written into his contract stipulating that the Astros would pay for his future college tuition.
After a slow start, Phillips went 3-for-3 in a 3-1 loss to the Marlins last Thursday and was second on the team in hitting (.295), first in slugging percentage (.581), second in hits (9), first in total bases (12) and first in walks (8) through 11 games.