T.J. Bohn: Getting it Done

InsidethePark.com brings you a closer look at the recently promoted T.J. Bohn. The multi-talented outfielder was the M's 30th round pick in the 2002 draft and is turning heads as he makes his way through the system. Two things we know for sure; Bohn makes pitchers throw strikes, and runners don't dare try for the extra base on his cannon arm. For the rest, read on.

Laid-back confidence is the immediate feel sensed from San Antonio Missions OF T.J. Bohn when you first talk with him. It's not an arrogance about him, and he does care for the game and how best he can help the team, but there's just the feeling that he will handle the job when presented with the opportunity.

Obviously, the first impression is key and you don't find out everything about a person in ten minutes, but Bohn wants to play baseball and that you can see.

Bohn learned his bat and glove were taking a trip to Double-A San Antonio by way of Frisco, Texas just after midnight on June 28 after completing a road trip from High Island.

"I had no idea (Inland Empire Manager Daren Brown), he just came in and told me I was getting out of here," Bohn said smiling. "I know that's the way it happens. I just packed up my stuff and left."

San Antonio's offense needed another player capable of getting on base with the frequency Bohn demonstrated at Advanced-A Inland Empire. The 24-year-old hit .283 in 71 games for the 66ers with 19 extra-base hits and 44 walks.

Otsego, Minnesota's native son arrived in the Dallas suburb and joined the team in the nick of time. In the game preceding Bohn's arrival, All-Star CF Dustin Delucchi rolled over his ankle sliding into second and sat out the next three games. Enter the kid from the Land of a Thousand Lakes.

Bohn went 2-for-4, walked once, scored once and drove in one run. To top it off in the eighth, he stole second. Nice start in Double-A, and according to Bohn, the league is what he expected.

"The pitching is better in Double-A," said Bohn. "I just want to come up here and help this team win. Winning every day is our goal. I just want to come out and help this team the best I can."

One thing a player learns as soon as they arrive at the clubhouse door down the third-base line at The Wolff is that Manager Dave Brundage is as aggressive as they come. To be aggressive on the base paths, it requires somebody on base. Bohn finished his stint in the California League with a .412 OBP, which was amongst the league leaders and reflected his philosophy for getting to first base.

"There's no way to score if you don't get people on base," said Bohn. "Once you get on base, it just opens up a whole lot of opportunities for us."

So far, so good for Bohn as he is currently batting .474 as of July 4th including a 3-run home run in the Independence Day blowout against the Arkansas Travelers. The largest hurdle for this Missions squad entering the second half run was to score runs and capitalize on the chances they had instead of leaving runners on base, as they had a tendency to do in the first half.

San Antonio hitting coach Gary Thurman talked about what the team expects from their newest outfielder.

"T.J.'s going to be a great asset to this team. He's going to add some speed to the team, he's got a good arm in the outfield and he can cover a lot of ground," said the former T-Rats manager. "He's a good hitter and a welcome addition."

With any luck, Bohn's arrival along with RHP Felix Hernandez and SS Michael Morse, coupled with the continued maturation of the Missions roster, their goal of a second half title is well within reach.

Joe Ruiz is an avid baseball fan with a knack for annoying only himself as he fights with his alter ego about who was better in the clutch; the chicken or the egg? Questions or comments are welcome at JoeRuiz@InsidethePark.com

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