There is no question that some of the extra attention comes from being a high draft pick with a big bonus. But a lot of it comes from his talent and his work ethic. In addition to wanting to recoup their investment, the Mets see the talent. They hold out hope that every season, every game, every at bat, is the one where it all clicks for Corey Ragsdale.
Rags knows that he's getting an extended opportunity. He comes to every practice, every game, with a game face on and concentrated visage of determination. He knows it's a fine line between sticking with an investment and cutting your losses.
So yesterday, when in his first at bat he knocked a prodigious homerun over the fence, his teammates all jumped to their feet to greet him at home plate. The coaches all patted him on the back. Players across the cloverleaf in the low-A ball game yelled, "Way to go, Rags." One teammate thumped him on the back and told him, "Hey, kid, it's okay to smile."
But Ragsdale never broke his game face, determined to carry over the success of one at bat into the next one. The quiet kid shuns the attention. He just keeps working to justify the team's continued investment in his development. Maybe this game is the game. Maybe this season is the season, that Rags breaks out.
PHOTOS: Whealey(2), Wendt, Bowman, Wilson, Bladergroen, Harper, Alfonzo, Rondon, Ragsdale, A. Garcia(3), Deaton(3), Ragsdale(2), Baldiris, Deaton, Harvey, T. Piazza, Slack, E. Rodriguez, Ragsdale(2), Deaton(2), Alfonzo(7), Davidson, Bowens, Weintraub