Jimmy Rohan, A Man For All Positions

Jimmy Rohan is from Valencia, a Southern California city right by the shores of the Pacific so when he raises his cap to reveal hair bleached blonde, you have to wonder if he's not one of those guys that the Beach Boys have been signing about for all these years. Is he truly a surfer dude? "Well, I do surf, " Jimmy admits. "Not all that often, though, just something I do now and then. You can get hurt doing that."

Playing hurt is something Rohan knows how to do. He's had some injuries that might have put others out but he won't complain and hangs in there. "Maybe it's not too smart, but I do it."

That's because for just about the first time in his professional career, he's coming to the park with the idea that he'll see his name in the starting lineup, something he's going to do everything he can to maintain. He's never sure what position, not that it matters much." I've played everywhere in the field but center field and catcher and that's great," he declares. He even pitched in a couple of games for Columbus last year.

Right now, he usually finds himself stationed at third base in the Vero Beach lineup, the latest to claim that spot vacated by Andy LaRoche when he moved up. Rohan had been doing a lot of first basing but he seems more comfortable at his present job. The main thing is that he's been doing some timely hitting (currently at .279) and manager Scott Little knows that wherever he puts him in the field, Rohan won't embarrass himself. Currently he has a total of only six errors combined at all the positions where he's been this season.

He's always had to work hard to get noticed for he's one of those undrafted free agents who may not impress at the start but whose abilities wear well. As to why he was ignored in the 2002 draft -- "It was a new school, only two years old with a new coach and for whatever reason the scouts didn't bother with us. After I graduated, George Genovese got in touch with me, worked me out, said he couldn't understand why I wasn't drafted but that he'd do everything he could to get the Dodgers to sign me."

As noted before, Genovese, the onetime legendary scout with the Giants now a part-timer working for L.A., has been masterful at picking up the flotsam and jetsam left out of the draft. Rohan's current Vero teammate, Casey Hoorelbeke, is another one of those.

Jimmy's been something of a floater in the Dodger system, spending time filling in where needed. He was even up in AA with Jacksonville doing just that earlier this season. This time, though, he seems to have a found a home, just one of the reasons why Vero, the first-half winner of its division in the Florida State League, is again in first place in the second.

He's a 21-year-old with a penchant for hitting in the clutch. No, he doesn't go for the long ball but rather sprays his hits around. And since he's in there most every day, they keep coming.

So, he'll hang around Vero Beach in September but not to test the waves of the Atlantic. No, he'll gladly ignore the beach for the playoffs.

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