After logging more than 20 stolen bases in each of his first three professional seasons, Gorecki was called up to Double-A Tennessee near the end of 2004. He also received an invitation to the Arizona Fall League after the season, where he excelled again. In the AFL, against many of the top prospects from all over baseball, Gorecki's .363 average was sixth best and his on-base percentage of .449 was fourth.
As a result, Gorecki was crowned the organization's Minor League Player of the Year. I caught up with the 24-year-old Queens, NY native again prior to Friday's game.
Reid, when we talked last in Arizona, you were in the midst of a hot streak but hadn't yet moved from the taxi squad to the every day lineup. How do you feel about your showing there?
I did exactly what I set out to do. It all worked out well.
When did you learn you were getting the invite to spring training?
They called me the last day of the Arizona Fall League to tell me that I was being added to the 40-man roster and was coming to spring camp. I was pretty happy, especially given my relative youth and experience in the organization.
Who let you know, Bruce Manno (Director of Player Development)?
Yes, actually Bruce called me as I was on the way to the airport to come home.
What is your focus here at Spring Training?
I am watching guys like Eckstein here and trying to soak it all in. (Eckstein was standing nearby and smiled.)
Where do you hope to start out in 2005, Memphis?
I hope to start somewhere. Ideally, I would make this team. That is what I am trying to do.
Are you going to get in the game today?
Yes, I hope to get into the game in the late innings. (Note: Gorecki did play in centerfield and singled in his only plate appearance Friday.)
With Skip Schumaker here, of similar age and experience, playing the same position, what is it like to be competitors and friends, too?
It's hard. He's a good guy. And, I'd like to think I am a good guy, too. We're both working hard for the same thing. I hope everyone can succeed at what they are after.
Thanks and good luck this season.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com