Hendricks Looks Everywhere For Future

When you graduate from Harvard, and you're drafted in the 24th round, you're not exactly expected to light things up right off the bat, but Trey Hendricks wasn't worried about that. "I'm down here to learn positions, to gain as much experience as I can," Hendricks said in the Tucson Instructional League.

It's an odd statement from a guy finishing his first year of pro ball, already trying to learn new positions, it's the plural that makes it odd.  While many players undergo a position change upon arriving in the professional ranks, Hendricks isn't content with just one.

"The more positions you play, the more value you have.  I'd love to be a utility guy.  That's something that every team needs, and it's something that can keep you in the big leagues a long time."

For Trey Hendricks, having all the angles covered just comes naturally.  A pitcher and first baseman at Harvard, he stuck out because of a power stroke and a tenacity that might serve him well in his planned post baseball careers.

"I'd love to move into the business side of baseball eventually," Hendricks said between batting practice sessions.  It's a good thing, because if you waste a Harvard degree on the Diamond, people might start looking at you funny.

"That's a long way down the line though I hope."

So back to baseball.  Utility guy is a broad term, especially coming from someone who played exactly two positions in his first year as a pro in Short Season Yakima.  It seems even more curious when you realize those two positions were first base and DH.  Of course, there's a reason for everything Hendricks does, and knee surgery in April of 2004 has a lot to do with his role in '05. 

The surgery kept him out of competitive ball, and in extended spring training his first season, and in year two, though he was healthy, the organization felt keeping him where he was comfortable was important.  Now though, all bets are off.

"First base of course, but third base, left field, right field, even some catching, I've kind of been doing it all here."

Catching?  Certainly a Harvard guy has got to be smart enough not to strap on the gear?

"I'm up for it, Plum [Bill Plummer, who oversaw the catchers at instructs] has been working with me a couple times a week, and it's fun, you're involved in everything."

As for instructs, Hendricks debunks the myth that it's 'all about development.'

"Look, everybody is down here to get better, but if you think we're not trying to win you're crazy.  These guys are all competitors, and we're fighting for wins, for spots on next year's squads.  Everybody here is just going out and doing what they do.  Sure, guys help one another, it's not like we're trying to hurt each other, but this is competitive baseball."

As for Hendricks himself, the youngster is adjusting to playing all the time.

"This was the first year where I really started to feel the season.  I played pretty well in extended my first year, but because of the injury I sat a lot.  This year it was everyday.  I'd love to start next season at Lancaster, I think that would be a big challenge for me, and if I do well there you never know.  I could be one of those mid season promotions to Tennessee, and from there anything can happen."

A switch hitter who's working on five different positions all over the diamond, with some pop in his bat who hit .296 in his first year as a pro?  Sounds a lot like he's trying to be an 'everyman.'  Which makes sense, given that Hendricks also has his post-business-side-of-baseball career planned out as well.

"I would like to get involved in government, to see if I could help people."

Senator Hendricks?

"No, I doubt I'd be running for office," he laughs, "right now I'm just worried about taking the ball the other way."

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