Tyler Goeddel has already been to the place every minor league baseball player hopes to be one day in his career.
A year ago at this time, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos leftfielder was playing for the Philadelphia Phillies. He appeared in 92 games and hit .192 while belting out four home runs and driving in 16 runs.
“Everyone’s goal is to make it to the big leagues, and it was awesome to be there,” Goeddel said. “But once you get there, it’s tough to come back down. My goal is to get back up there and stay. I’m working every day to get another chance.”
No player ever knows when that chance will come. That’s just the nature of the game. But be assured Goeddel is doing his best to make a good impression. Claimed off waivers by the Reds in April, the former first-round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays is hitting .315 in 24 games with Double-A Pensacola.
He’s no stranger to the Southern League, having played the 2015 season in Montgomery, and he can’t complain about his experience here in Pensacola.
“It’s good to be in the lineup on a regular basis and get those quality at-bats,” Goeddel said. “I feel I’m consistently having pretty good at-bats and I want to keep doing that as the season goes on.”
Hailing from California, Goeddel passed on a chance to play at UCLA and went straight to pro ball out of high school when the Rays selected him with the 41st pick in the 2011 draft.
It’s never an easy jump to make but it seemed like one that was worth it. After all, by the time the 2013 season rolled around, he was considered one of Tampa’s top prospects and hit .249 that season with Bowling Green of the Midwest League.
“It’s a big jump going from high school to the minors because you are with the best of the best from every high school and college from around the country,” Goeddel said. “It took a couple of years to get adjusted to it, but I feel I’ve improved every year since I’ve been drafted.”
Read the full article in the June 15 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.