The infielder spent most of the season at the Mets' minor league complex working on the finer points…
Malvagna Waits Patiently for Opportunity
With Jason Jacobs having one of the best offensive seasons in Cyclones history, third string catcher Steve Malvagna played in only six games all season with Brooklyn. While most players would complain after playing so little at such a crucial developmental point in their career, Malvagna is taking things one day at a time and knows he has to be prepared to go out to play everyday even if he's not on the lineup card.
"I'm just trying to pay my dues," said Malvagna. "Jason [Jacobs] is having a great year and I'd be crazy to think I would be getting a lot of playing with a guy in front of me playing like that."
"I keep myself busy though; I'm always talking to the pitchers and making sure that they're okay out there. If I see something out there that I think they don't know about, I always tell them. I'm a few years younger than some of these guys, so I want to make sure I'm as prepared mentally as I can possibly be when ever I get the chance to get out there."
Playing in only 11 games for the Gulf Coast Mets last season with only 25 at-bats, Malvagna unfortunately knows the predicament he's in this season all too well. Nonetheless, the confident 21-year-old has waited patiently on the bench for an opportunity to prove himself. He may have to wait until 2008 as he was finally recalled to Kingsport on Monday, ending his lacking tenure with the Cyclones.
"We had five catchers down in the Gulf Coast League last season, so I'm kind of used to this," said Malvagna who hit .370 with a team-high 41 RBI for Adelphi University before signing a minor league contract with the Mets in 2005. "All I can do is play my hardest whenever I get the chance. So far, I think I've done that."
With so little playing time this season, Malvagna did not have an opportunity to do much this season at Keyspan Park, but he did manage to get a pinch-hit single against the Staten Island Yankees at the Ballpark at St. George with his friends and family in attendance, which he believes has been the highlight of his young career thus far.
"It was great," said Malvagna. "I didn't think I was going to get a chance to play and being able to do that made me really proud of myself."
If given more of an opportunity, Malvagna believes that fans would know the same things his friends and family do: that's he's a well-rounded catcher capable of playing everyday.
"I like to think I'm a good defensive catcher, but I know I'm good with the bat," said Malvagna. "Calling a good game is very important to me and I'm always working on that aspect of my game, but I know that if I'm up at the plate and the team needs a hit, I can do what I have to do to get on base."
However, for the time being, Malvagna understands his role on the team and is happy with how he's played this season, even if it isn't as much as he would like.
"I think I've done my job well this season," said Malvagna. "I've done whatever they've asked me to do, when they've asked it and I've learned a lot this season, like I said, I'm just paying my dues. I know the playing time will come eventually, so for the time being, I'm going to be patient and do whatever I have to do to help my team win."
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