Vitek Having Fun

PORTLAND, ME - Twenty-three year old Kolbrin Vitek is beginning his third season as a pro baseball player and seems to have a very bright future ahead of him. After spending 2010 in Lowell and Greenville and the 2011 season in Salem, the 20th overall pick (2010 MLB Amateur Draft) was promoted to Double-A Portland this season.

"I'm glad I'm in Double-A this year. I like this club, I really like my teammates," Vitek said. "I am happy with what is going on here and I am looking forward to the rest of the season."

It was a busy offseason for Vitek. The Nashville, Tennessee resident allowed himself only two weeks to recuperate after the 2011 season before putting his nose back to the grindstone.

"There was a lot of hard work in the weight room," he said. "I lifted a lot of weights. We [also] did a lot of speed and agility training. I worked with a few different strength trainers in Nashville trying to make my skills a little bit better."

He added ten pounds of muscle before he even started swinging and throwing. By January he was back in the cage getting ready for Spring Training.

"[Spring Training] was a lot of fun. It was a really successful Spring Training for me. I got a lot of work at third base and was able to get better there."

He also got a lot of work at the plate against some very good pitching. Twice during the spring Vitek played with the big club and in both games Baltimore and then Philadelphia put their Major League lineups on the field.

"It was a very humbling experience for me. I'm playing third-base and guys that I watched [when I was] in high school are at the plate. It was crazy!"

One of the most important lessons that Vitek learned in his time with the Red Sox this spring was how big leaguers approach each game.

"They've become so used to being in the spotlight. They just go out and do their thing and have a good time with it. The biggest thing I learned from watching them was how relaxed they were and how they go about their business."

Vitek batted .281 with a .350 on-base percentage and slugged .372 last year in Salem. While the competition will only get tougher for Vitek, manager Kevin Boles is very optimistic about Kolbrin's potential.

"The guy comes ready to work every day and he had a real good spring," Boles said. "So far he has managed his at-bats, he works the count, has a knowledge of the strike zone and watching him play defensively, he has made the plays.

"He is very athletic out there and he looks like he has a very calm presence about him. He looks like he is able to slow the game down. This is a guy that we are very high on. He has a lot of ability and good things are in the future for him."

While it is still too early to predict whether he will match or surpass his offensive numbers from last year, one thing is certain; Kolbrin Vitek is going to do his best to enjoy his time in Portland.

"The competition [in Double-A] is a lot better," Vitek said. "Pitchers are better, hitters are better. Everyone wants to get better every day. My biggest thing, during a game, is just having fun and enjoying it."


Diehard Magazine Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"I'm glad I'm in Double-A this year. I like this club, I really like my teammates,\" Vitek said. \"I am happy with what is going on here and I am looking forward to the rest of the season.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt was a busy offseason for Vitek. The Nashville, Tennessee resident allowed himself only two weeks to recuperate after the 2011 season before putting his nose back to the grindstone.
\r\n
\r\n\"There was a lot of hard work in the weight room,\" he said. \"I lifted a lot of weights. We [also] did a lot of speed and agility training. I worked with a few different strength trainers in Nashville trying to make my skills a little bit better.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe added ten pounds of muscle before he even started swinging and throwing. By January he was back in the cage getting ready for Spring Training.
\r\n
\r\n\"[Spring Training] was a lot of fun. It was a really successful Spring Training for me. I got a lot of work at third base and was able to get better there.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe also got a lot of work at the plate against some very good pitching. Twice during the spring Vitek played with the big club and in both games Baltimore and then Philadelphia put their Major League lineups on the field.
\r\n
\r\n\"It was a very humbling experience for me. I'm playing third-base and guys that I watched [when I was] in high school are at the plate. It was crazy!\"
\r\n
\r\nOne of the most important lessons that Vitek learned in his time with the Red Sox this spring was how big leaguers approach each game.
\r\n
\r\n\"They've become so used to being in the spotlight. They just go out and do their thing and have a good time with it. The biggest thing I learned from watching them was how relaxed they were and how they go about their business.\"
\r\n
\r\nVitek batted .281 with a .350 on-base percentage and slugged .372 last year in Salem. While the competition will only get tougher for Vitek, manager Kevin Boles is very optimistic about Kolbrin's potential.
\r\n
\r\n\"The guy comes ready to work every day and he had a real good spring,\" Boles said. \"So far he has managed his at-bats, he works the count, has a knowledge of the strike zone and watching him play defensively, he has made the plays.
\r\n
\r\n\"He is very athletic out there and he looks like he has a very calm presence about him. He looks like he is able to slow the game down. This is a guy that we are very high on. He has a lot of ability and good things are in the future for him.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile it is still too early to predict whether he will match or surpass his offensive numbers from last year, one thing is certain; Kolbrin Vitek is going to do his best to enjoy his time in Portland.
\r\n
\r\n\"The competition [in Double-A] is a lot better,\" Vitek said. \"Pitchers are better, hitters are better. Everyone wants to get better every day. My biggest thing, during a game, is just having fun and enjoying it.\"
\r\n
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