Don't Let Biondi's Size Fool You

BROOKLYN, NY - Brooklyn Cyclones outfielder Patrick Biondi was a huge Detroit Tigers fan growing up. He may not be physically intimidating -- he's just 5'9 and 165 pounds -- but Biondi plays the game with a tiger's tenacity that has made an indelible impression on his manager.

"He's as advertised," Cyclones manager Rich Donnelly said. "He's a guy that gets on base and makes things happen. I have seen that especially this last week. I always say that you can tell whether Patrick had a good game by looking at his uniform: If his uniform is dirty then he's doing what he's supposed to do."

Biondi was selected in the ninth round of the 2013 First Year Player Draft out of the University of Michigan. He was happy that the Mets chose him, but he knew that there were no guarantees.

"I‘d definitely been in contact with [the Mets] a lot leading up to the draft," he said, "but you really never know until the draft comes what is really going to happen. So when I was selected I was really excited to join a great organization with great ownership and great people."

The 22-year-old Michigan native was an accomplished college bat, hitting .300 in three of his four years as a Wolverine. Biondi really impressed scouts with his production last summer at the Cape Cod League. With a .388 average, Biondi won the league's batting title and played on the All-Star team. Both accomplishments were fulfilling, but Biondi said the latter was the most rewarding.

"I had really struggled in the same league the summer before," he said, "so to be able to go back and prove to myself and to other people that I belong there and that I was an elite player in the country was something that I took a lot of pride in."

Biondi's biggest strength is his speed, which allows him to steal bases, and score runs at a high clip. As much as his speed has been essential to his offensive game, it's also been valuable to his defense.

"My speed allows me to be a really good defender in centerfield," he said. "I think what makes me a really good defender is that I am able to make all the routine plays and have the ability to make the game-changing play in the gap and the diving play coming in to save a game."

Given his speed and ability to hit for average, Biondi sees himself staying in centerfield and hitting at the top of big league batting orders in the future.

In the meantime, Biondi is focused on putting together a good first season with Brooklyn. So far, he's had more problems adapting to the grueling schedule of a minor league season than to the competition.

"A lot of the guys in the league are college guys, so the competition isn't a lot different," Biondi said. "It's probably more consistently good. I think just the lifestyle of traveling every day and playing every night has probably been the biggest change."

In 31 games, Biondi is batting .230 with eight RBIs. He has proven his worth by coming up big time and again in high-pressure situations. Four of his RBIs have either tied or put the Cyclones ahead in games in which they've trailed heading into the late innings.

A recent episode of his heroics came in the Cyclones' 5-3 comeback win against the Aberdeen Iron Birds. Biondi laced a single that tied the game at three in the top of the seventh inning.

"I actually fell behind in the count so I was just trying to have a tough at-bat and put the ball in play," he said. "I was fortunate enough to put the ball up the middle and it ended up scoring the tying runs."

For the season, Biondi is hitting .310 with runners in scoring position. While he has excelled in the critical moments of games, Biondi believes he can do more for his team offensively by being more consistent at the plate.

Nevertheless, his poise and passion for the game has endeared him to manager Donnelly, who wants to see his centerfielder continue to learn the nuances of the game moving forward.

"Just play and learn," Donnelly said. "He's gotten better and better each day. He comes to work with a lunch box and he's ready to go. l love that kind of attitude."

Biondi believes his game is similar to Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Ben Revere and Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Ironically, both Revere and Pedroia share a 5'9, 170-pound frame.

Their success at the major league level goes to show that you don't have to be the biggest man to excel in the game of baseball. Pedroia and Revere have thrived because they have the will to succeed. Though he's small, Biondi has the biggest will to be successful at the next level.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"He's as advertised,\" Cyclones manager Rich Donnelly said. \"He's a guy that gets on base and makes things happen. I have seen that especially this last week. I always say that you can tell whether Patrick had a good game by looking at his uniform: If his uniform is dirty then he's doing what he's supposed to do.\"
\r\n
\r\nBiondi was selected in the ninth round of the 2013 First Year Player Draft out of the University of Michigan. He was happy that the Mets chose him, but he knew that there were no guarantees.
\r\n
\r\n\"I‘d definitely been in contact with [the Mets] a lot leading up to the draft,\" he said, \"but you really never know until the draft comes what is really going to happen. So when I was selected I was really excited to join a great organization with great ownership and great people.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe 22-year-old Michigan native was an accomplished college bat, hitting .300 in three of his four years as a Wolverine. Biondi really impressed scouts with his production last summer at the Cape Cod League. With a .388 average, Biondi won the league's batting title and played on the All-Star team. Both accomplishments were fulfilling, but Biondi said the latter was the most rewarding.
\r\n
\r\n\"I had really struggled in the same league the summer before,\" he said, \"so to be able to go back and prove to myself and to other people that I belong there and that I was an elite player in the country was something that I took a lot of pride in.\"
\r\n
\r\nBiondi's biggest strength is his speed, which allows him to steal bases, and score runs at a high clip. As much as his speed has been essential to his offensive game, it's also been valuable to his defense.
\r\n
\r\n\"My speed allows me to be a really good defender in centerfield,\" he said. \"I think what makes me a really good defender is that I am able to make all the routine plays and have the ability to make the game-changing play in the gap and the diving play coming in to save a game.\"
\r\n
\r\nGiven his speed and ability to hit for average, Biondi sees himself staying in centerfield and hitting at the top of big league batting orders in the future.
\r\n
\r\nIn the meantime, Biondi is focused on putting together a good first season with Brooklyn. So far, he's had more problems adapting to the grueling schedule of a minor league season than to the competition.
\r\n
\r\n\"A lot of the guys in the league are college guys, so the competition isn't a lot different,\" Biondi said. \"It's probably more consistently good. I think just the lifestyle of traveling every day and playing every night has probably been the biggest change.\"
\r\n
\r\nIn 31 games, Biondi is batting .230 with eight RBIs. He has proven his worth by coming up big time and again in high-pressure situations. Four of his RBIs have either tied or put the Cyclones ahead in games in which they've trailed heading into the late innings.
\r\n
\r\nA recent episode of his heroics came in the Cyclones' 5-3 comeback win against the Aberdeen Iron Birds. Biondi laced a single that tied the game at three in the top of the seventh inning.
\r\n
\r\n\"I actually fell behind in the count so I was just trying to have a tough at-bat and put the ball in play,\" he said. \"I was fortunate enough to put the ball up the middle and it ended up scoring the tying runs.\"
\r\n
\r\nFor the season, Biondi is hitting .310 with runners in scoring position. While he has excelled in the critical moments of games, Biondi believes he can do more for his team offensively by being more consistent at the plate.
\r\n
\r\nNevertheless, his poise and passion for the game has endeared him to manager Donnelly, who wants to see his centerfielder continue to learn the nuances of the game moving forward.
\r\n
\r\n\"Just play and learn,\" Donnelly said. \"He's gotten better and better each day. He comes to work with a lunch box and he's ready to go. l love that kind of attitude.\"
\r\n
\r\nBiondi believes his game is similar to Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Ben Revere and Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Ironically, both Revere and Pedroia share a 5'9, 170-pound frame.
\r\n
\r\nTheir success at the major league level goes to show that you don't have to be the biggest man to excel in the game of baseball. Pedroia and Revere have thrived because they have the will to succeed. Though he's small, Biondi has the biggest will to be successful at the next level.
\r\n
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