Jeremy Hazelbaker ate at chain restaurants in Mexico.

This evening I found myself thinking about Jeremy Hazelbaker's contributions to the Pawtucket Red Sox and his command of the strike zone and how he spent his off-season working out and drinking protein shakes and making his wife get his golf clubs out of the trunk because he was playing video games.

No, I was just looking at the Pawtucket 2012 roster and realized I didn't have much to say about players Anderson through Hassan. And I thought about how he's farm-built like a Syracuse ladder and how high he pulls his pants up. Did you know Hazelbaker is a Ball State kid? He's from Indiana but has probably never been Jammed!

Hazelbaker only played in seven games for Pawtucket. He struck out eight times and never walked. He also says shit like "I ain't sure I've ever heard of Downtown Abbey" and "I never thought I would see the day where my girlfriend would ask me to get her a handgun! SOOO HAPPY!!!!".

Let's talk to it!

1. Hazelbaker participated in a webchat, but not the kind where you take your underpants off. I tried to watch it, I swear.

2. "Hazelbaker also must continue to work on his defense because he played third base in high school and second during his first two seasons at Ball State. Among other things, he must get better reads on line drives and as well as balls hit in the gaps." - Mike Scandura wrote this. Either that or that scoundrel Charlie Saponara.

3. JH played winter ball in Mexico, yet has probably never tried tequila in his life.

  "He has plus speed (36 SBs) and some pretty good pop (19 HRs, .206 ISO, .479 slugging at AA).  Overall he hit .273/.338/.479 in AA last season. Despite the plus speed, Hazelbaker needs work in CF.  He has plus raw range but needs to learn to read the ball better and take better routes.  Enter defensive guru Dave McKay.  He did a lot with an aging, sore-kneed player in Alfonso Soriano, perhaps he can translate Hazelbaker's plus athleticism into plus defense in CF.  Hazelbaker has shown the ability to take walks in the minors but his overall plate discipline is inconsistent.  Furthermore, his ability to make contact at the MLB level may be a concern, though he's trending in the right direction.  His 23.4% K rate at AA last season was a career low.  If the Cubs think he can improve in the spring, he fits the profile of a potentially plus defensive CF with good range in CF."

Thanks, John Arguello!

5. "Jeremy Hazelbaker posted monster numbers in his junior season at Ball State. His .550 OBP was 2nd highest in D-1. His OPS was a staggering 1.274 and his babip was .491. His SecA was a staggering .645 (.500 is considered to be very good). More impressive is his plate discipline. His BB/K ratio was 1.37. His Runs Created per Plate Appearance were .315." - swiped from Sabermetric Sox Report

6. "We've enjoyed having Jeremy here," said Susan Cressey. "(He) has an intense schedule with lots of road trips and training sessions at Hadlock Field before games. I'm particularly impressed with his healthy life style and his self-discipline in terms of always being game-ready. Late nights and early morning road trips are the norm for Jeremy and his teammates." - Hazelbaker's Portland host family was his trainer's parents. I'm pretty sure Susan Cressey read that statement off index cards with a gun pointed at her head.

7. LOL this picture. LOL. LOL. LOL!!!

8. Rule 5 = Theme from Jaws and Hazelbaker's pasty legs treading saltwater.

9. Hazelbaker set up a scholarship at his old high school, so that was nice of him.


11. Kolbrin Vitek kind of compares Hazelbaker to an old shoe: " I played with him in college for a couple years and then once I got drafted I knew I’d be playing with him a little bit. By the end of my first season I was teammates with him again, which is awesome. It helps you get a little more comfortable with the rest of your teammates, you can kind of break in that way, and having that familiar face is always helpful. Coming in every day and having someone that you’ve known for five or six years now, it’s very helpful."  BUS LEAGUES BASEBALL RULEZ!!!

12. "Even after working out in the hot sun all morning Hazelbaker was more than accommodating. He talked to me as much as I wanted him to and even un-tucked his shirt to show us his tattoo." - DUDE.

13. "Red Sox prospect Jeremy Hazelbaker lead the lower-A Carolina League with 63 steals and 135 K’s, an unusual combination to say the least. In fact, he lead the entire Boston organization…7 teams plus the parent club…in stolen bases, and was topped only by Dave Ortiz’ 145 strikeouts." - from Deep-Fried Hoodsie Cups, which has really pretty pictures.

14. So I'm reading this thing where Hazelbaker talks about baserunning and I'm digging it and of course it's a David Laurila joint.

I need more practice writing stuff if I am ever going to make a book. I'm pretty sure Alex Speier is going to write an article about all my spelling errors and clunky exposition and forced pop culture references. But I don't care, because I AM ONE WIN AWAY FROM GOING TO THE TOURNAMENT FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW!!!!


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