Wabick has taken over at first base in Brooklyn
D.J. Wabick was with the Brooklyn Cyclones for ten games last season, only to be sent down to Kingsport later on in the year. After beginning this year with the K-Mets, Wabick’s looking to stay on with Brooklyn.
“It’s a fun atmosphere,” said 6-foot-2, 215-pound first baseman. “I’m just glad to be here.”
D.J. Wabick, whose real name is actually David, was selected by the Mets in the 25th round of the 2005 amateur draft after starring with the College of Charleston. He hit .415 with Charleston, with nine home runs and 66 RBIs, and led the team in slugging percentage with a .636 clip.
After signing with the Met organization, he hit just .162 with the Cyclones in his brief stint last season before rebounding with Kingsport, hitting .302 with 20 RBIs. This year with Kingsport, the 22-year-old left handed hitter batted .327 with two homers and 28 RBIs, along with posting a .415 on-base percentage. He was previously selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 2002 draft in the 38th round.
Wabick grew up in Palos Park, Illinois, which is on the South Side of Chicago. Despite being on the South Side, he wasn’t a fan of either Chicago ball club.
“My favorite team is the Seattle Mariners and favorite player is Ken Griffey Jr,” he said. “When I was little I loved Griffey, so I picked the Mariners.”
The experience of living in a large city like Chicago still didn’t prepare him for the atmosphere of Brooklyn and the crowds at Keyspan Park.
“I’m used to big cities, but it’s not quite like this,” he said. “In college, I played in front of 5,000 people... It’s pretty incredible, it’s totally different than it was in college.”
For Wabick, there was little chance to feel the pressures of being a tight playoff race with the Cyclones after just being recalled.
“It’s pretty intense,” he said. “Every game is so crucial, so there’s no time to feel any nerves or anything like that. You just got to play right away.”
Wabick has seized the starting first base job since his return to Brooklyn and in his short time with the club, has shown an above average glove at first.
“I think I’m pretty agile as a first baseman,” he said. “I cover a lot of ground. I still have a lot of stuff I need to work on. I just moved over there a year ago. I still have to do some works with picks. Overall, I feel I’m pretty mobile around the base.”
At the plate, Wabick said his ability to make contact is one of his biggest advantages as a hitter.
“I would say my best asset is that I hit the ball where it’s pitched,” said Wabick. “I use all fields well, especially the opposite field gap.”
The experience of playing with Brooklyn last season has helped Wabick in his progression as a baseball player.
“I think it help me a lot last year because I knew what to expect when I came here,” he said.
"[The Cyclones] are in a playoff race but I wasn’t nervous because I saw what the crowd was like and how I was treated.”
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