Christensen talks CCL All-Star game

Nebraska infielder Chad Christensen has been selected to play in tomorrow night's CCL All-Star game. What is the junior infielder working on during summer league? He talks with Big Red Report inside.

Tonight the Major League Baseball All-Star game will be held in Phoenix, Arizona. The best players in the world will be on display for everyone to watch. Nebraska infielder Chad Christensen won't probably be able to see it. He's getting ready for his own All-Star game tomorrow night.

A member of the San Luis Obispo Blues, Christensen was selected to the California Collegiate League (CCL) All-Star game in Glendale, California.

"I just feel fortunate to be out and here make this league. To make it to the All-Star game, it was sort of icing on the cake," said Christensen. "I'm really excited and excited for all the guys on my team that are going to get to play in the game."

So what is the CCL? A development league for college baseball players to work on their game during the summer months. Possibly the best part? They use wood bats, a chance to see if playing at the next level is a possibility.

Remember the movie "Summer Catch" back in the early 2000s starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jessica Biel? Pretty much the same concept.

Major League Talent such as Ryan Chuch, Matt Garza, James Shields, and Chad Qualls have all played in the CCL.

Christensen is batting .221 with a team-high seven doubles in California. He also has two home runs and 15 RBIs.

"The summer is all about getting the chance to work on your game and focus on areas that need improvements," said Christensen. "Other than that, it's a long summer. You pretty much play everyday – we are just coming off a stretch where we played 16 games straight. It's hard if you are struggling."

Christensen started all 55 games for the Huskers in 2010, batting .292 in the process. With his batting average nearly 70 points lower during the summer months, many would consider the junior to be "struggling".

"I am batting .222, but it's not my main concern over the summer. I'm hitting for some power and driving in runs. So I will just keep doing it everyday," said the Nebraska infielder. "I think the main thing when you are going through a struggle in the summer is to think about team baseball. If you can show up, think team baseball first, the pressure will come off.

"I think my number one goal was to figure out offensively what I could do to get better. I have always thought of myself as a power hitter. I always wanted to hit home runs and doubles, get RBIs. That was my main thing to work on coming into the summer. I feel like I'm doing that."

Christensen who grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, followed the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Big Ten vey closely before heading off to Lincoln. After experiencing a couple years of Big 12 atmospheres, he's excited for the opportunities to switch to a new conference.

"It will be a neat transition. I feel fortunate that I will play in both conferences. Not many people can say that," said the Iowa native. "I have not come across many Big Ten players out here in California, a lot of guys from the Big 12, but not many from the Big Ten."

Christensen says summer league play wraps up at the end of July.

Josh Harvey has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & Scout.com since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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