O'Brien Feeling More Comfortable

Peter O'Brien has quickly earned the reputation of being a masher at the plate even though he just completed his first full minor league season. Defensively though, while he has made progress behind the dish in 2013, he is still transitioning to third base as well, a position he says he is getting more comfortable at in the Arizona Fall League.

"The biggest thing I'm working on right now is my defense," O'Brien said. "The reason I came out is I recently made that switch over to third base and I think my catching made some really big improvements this year.

"The biggest thing I'm working on here is getting more experience over at third and keep progressing with my catching."

He has played 14 games thus far with the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League; seven at catcher, one at designated hitter, and six at third base. The plan entering the AFL season was to continue getting reps at both positions.

"Right now it's going out there and keep working on both [positions]," he said. "All of that other stuff is out of my hands so I'm just going out there and keep working and be the best player that I can be, whichever position I'm at."

He played just 37 games at third base with the Tampa Yankees after his promotion from low-A Charleston this season and he has quickly shown some nimbleness around the bag and some surprising range in the field, especially for a slugger his size.

In fact, there really isn't much to improve upon defensively outside of getting used to the different throwing angles between catching and third base.

"I honestly just think it's the repetitions. I feel really good over there, really comfortable, and really athletic. I think the biggest thing is keep taking ground balls everyday and keep getting put in that game situation.

"I know I can do it. I hadn't really played over there since high school so I just think it's being put out there in a game situation and keep getting those reps."

He is still catching too though and that remains the hardest part of his third base-catching balancing act -- somehow developing the muscle memory on his release point when he is behind the dish.

"I think the biggest thing I need to work on is my throwing," he said of catching. "I don't know if it's because I've been switching back and forth between third and catching but my throwing is the thing I need to work on the most right now defensively behind the plate.

"Receiving, blocking, game calling, I feel very, very good at [those areas] right now."

O'Brien has surprised a number of folks with his athleticism. In fact, he looks rangy enough to possibly even get some reps in the outfield down the road, rumblings that even O'Brien himself has heard in recent months.

"There's been some talks about it, nothing directly to me though," O'Brien said. "I'm really open to wherever I'm going to play.

"I just really want to help the team in any way I can. I think the good thing is I am athletic enough to be put over at third base or to be put somewhere in the outfield."

It isn't like he has abandoned his work offensively in Arizona though. He's been working on toning down his leg kick and improving his timing more in an effort to cut down on the strikeouts. Still, his offensive game is not his top priority right now.

"These last couple of games I've felt more comfortable. Obviously you want to come out there and put up big numbers and you want to do really well but that's not always something that can happen.

"I was telling myself the other day that I'd much rather struggle here than struggle next year during the season. Not that this doesn't count but I think this is more for the work you put in before and after the game.

"That's the biggest thing I'm focused in on right now, just trying to get better and keep trying to find that consistency so when I do start next year I'll know myself more as a ball player."

For O'Brien he would rather find that consistency in the field right now and he says he continues to get more comfortable at both positions, especially at third base, a position he simply has not seen a whole lot of time at just yet.

"I feel really good over there. I heard somebody the other day say 'for your 30th [something] game in pro ball [at third base] that's pretty good'. I was kind of surprised because I thought I had played a lot more than 30 games over at third.

"It's nice to hear because I honestly do feel comfortable over there and I feel I'm getting a lot better every single day that I take ground balls there. I expect good things from myself," he concluded.

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BoltsReport Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"The biggest thing I'm working on right now is my defense,\" O'Brien said. \"The reason I came out is I recently made that switch over to third base and I think my catching made some really big improvements this year.
\r\n
\r\n\"The biggest thing I'm working on here is getting more experience over at third and keep progressing with my catching.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe has played 14 games thus far with the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League; seven at catcher, one at designated hitter, and six at third base. The plan entering the AFL season was to continue getting reps at both positions.
\r\n
\r\n\"Right now it's going out there and keep working on both [positions],\" he said. \"All of that other stuff is out of my hands so I'm just going out there and keep working and be the best player that I can be, whichever position I'm at.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe played just 37 games at third base with the Tampa Yankees after his promotion from low-A Charleston this season and he has quickly shown some nimbleness around the bag and some surprising range in the field, especially for a slugger his size.
\r\n
\r\nIn fact, there really isn't much to improve upon defensively outside of getting used to the different throwing angles between catching and third base.
\r\n
\r\n\"I honestly just think it's the repetitions. I feel really good over there, really comfortable, and really athletic. I think the biggest thing is keep taking ground balls everyday and keep getting put in that game situation.
\r\n
\r\n\"I know I can do it. I hadn't really played over there since high school so I just think it's being put out there in a game situation and keep getting those reps.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe is still catching too though and that remains the hardest part of his third base-catching balancing act -- somehow developing the muscle memory on his release point when he is behind the dish.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think the biggest thing I need to work on is my throwing,\" he said of catching. \"I don't know if it's because I've been switching back and forth between third and catching but my throwing is the thing I need to work on the most right now defensively behind the plate.
\r\n
\r\n\"Receiving, blocking, game calling, I feel very, very good at [those areas] right now.\"
\r\n
\r\nO'Brien has surprised a number of folks with his athleticism. In fact, he looks rangy enough to possibly even get some reps in the outfield down the road, rumblings that even O'Brien himself has heard in recent months.
\r\n
\r\n\"There's been some talks about it, nothing directly to me though,\" O'Brien said. \"I'm really open to wherever I'm going to play.
\r\n
\r\n\"I just really want to help the team in any way I can. I think the good thing is I am athletic enough to be put over at third base or to be put somewhere in the outfield.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt isn't like he has abandoned his work offensively in Arizona though. He's been working on toning down his leg kick and improving his timing more in an effort to cut down on the strikeouts. Still, his offensive game is not his top priority right now.
\r\n
\r\n\"These last couple of games I've felt more comfortable. Obviously you want to come out there and put up big numbers and you want to do really well but that's not always something that can happen.
\r\n
\r\n\"I was telling myself the other day that I'd much rather struggle here than struggle next year during the season. Not that this doesn't count but I think this is more for the work you put in before and after the game.
\r\n
\r\n\"That's the biggest thing I'm focused in on right now, just trying to get better and keep trying to find that consistency so when I do start next year I'll know myself more as a ball player.\"
\r\n
\r\nFor O'Brien he would rather find that consistency in the field right now and he says he continues to get more comfortable at both positions, especially at third base, a position he simply has not seen a whole lot of time at just yet.
\r\n
\r\n\"I feel really good over there. I heard somebody the other day say 'for your 30th [something] game in pro ball [at third base] that's pretty good'. I was kind of surprised because I thought I had played a lot more than 30 games over at third.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's nice to hear because I honestly do feel comfortable over there and I feel I'm getting a lot better every single day that I take ground balls there. I expect good things from myself,\" he concluded.
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

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