Casey Craig: A Little Old School

Casey Craig made quite an impression on Everett in the first game of the season, hammering out two hits in the team's 11-1 win over Vancouver. The 19-year-old outfielder talked to InsidethePark afterwards about his first game as a member of the Aqua Sox.

It's easy to be fooled by Casey Craig's appearance. Simply put, the Everett Aqua Sox 19-year-old outfielder looks like a throw-back with the little things he does on the baseball field - going up to the plate without batting gloves, swinging two bats on the on-deck circle, hustling out every play.

Turns out, he's just a simple guy who does what he's used to.

"I don't think of myself as a throw-back," said Craig after Everett's season-opener on Friday. "It's all stuff that I picked up along the way that feels nice."

So far, the style has worked. Craig, a 21st round selection in the 2003 MLB Draft, busted out in his first season of professional ball last year while playing in the rookie league with Peoria. It was there that the Mariners organization toyed around with the thought of moving the outfielder to second base, only to ultimately move him back to the outfield. Craig finished second on the team with a .331 batting average and second in steals with 10.

This season, he's excited about the prospect of playing in a different part of the country and moving up the Mariners minor league ladder.

"It's great having fans out here cheering you on," said Craig of his new surroundings in Everett, Wash. "It's a great atmosphere. The weather is great, the people are friendly. I'm from San Diego so I love this, being out in the woods.

"I haven't got to travel around Everett yet, but I got to check out the hockey rink and that's pretty nice. This city is a great place to play baseball."

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound outfielder wasted little time in making his mark on the Aqua Sox on Friday, smashing two hits in three at bats. His first base hit of the season, a line-drive double to right-center in the third inning, drove in Bryan LaHair from second and allowed Craig to exhale a little bit.

"It was nice to get it out of the way because down in rookie ball I was hitting pretty good and then I come up here and got out my first at bat," said Craig, who flew out to center field in the second inning. "Everyone was giving me a bunch of crap for it. The guy threw me a fastball in (in the third) and I like that pitch, so I went with it."

Wearing No. 6 with Everett, Craig is just now settling in to his new team, hoping for the best this season and beyond.

"I have some long-term goals, but for now I know I just need to take it a game at a time."

Offering up the clichés, like it or not, Craig has a little bit of throw-back in him.

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