Servidio Takes Leadership Role
John Servidio's 2008 rookie season was riddled with an injury and competition that outperformed him. Albeit his first season may have been a bit disappointing, the 23-year old Servidio is looking to make amends this year and outperform his less than stellar year.
Last year's final line included appearing in 40 games (he is already on pace for nearly double that), three home runs (a mark he has already eclipsed) and a .239 average. In the average department, Servidio's game has taken a bit of a hit, and whether it is a result of adjusting to batting leadoff or something else, the mature 23-year old recognizes where he can improve and is working as hard as he can to make changes.
"My play has definitely been up and down so far. As a team we are clicking on all cylinders, but personally I believe I could be doing better," he said. "I will have to adapt to hitting leadoff since it is somewhere I have never hit before."
"All of us have always been 3, 4, and 5 hitters throughout college and in summer leagues, and it is still kind of new to me. I am working on it and it will come."
Servidio went on to discuss his first year with Brooklyn and what he expects for this year.
"Coming out of college you always have some jitters about pro-ball. You are going from aluminum to wood, pitchers who pitch individually to hitter, rather than here where they pitch to scouting reports, and after a while you pick up on a lot of stuff," he explained.
"You get to meet a lot of people and you get a lot of experience. I believe after a year of pro-ball you have to wonder how you played the game your first time through."
Servidio has felt the dividends of hard work and a bit of good luck. After an injury to Brooklyn's Opening Day centerfielder Seth Williams, Servidio was handed the everyday job out in center, an upgrade for him over right field, where he started the year. Williams was then moved up to St. Lucie to play High-A ball upon returning because of an injury up there, and the job in Brooklyn is now securely Servidio's.
"I have worked hard all of Spring Training and in Extended Spring, and am just really trying to earn a spot in centerfield. That is where I have been for most of my career and I just really want to prove to myself, as well as the coaches that that is where I deserve to play," he stated.
Manager Pedro Lopez is confident with his new centerfielder and sees a bright future for the Cyclones, one that starts with Servidio leading the way with his play in the field, as well as with his bat, hitting leadoff.
"He is a great player who has done a tremendous job stepping up to the challenge. He has been great all-around. He offers a little bit of everything batting leadoff," said Lopez.
"Him being here last year he knows what to expect, and he leads the way for the other guys in our lineup. He is a guy with experience, and a leader for our ball club. He has been nothing but a good influence for all of the guys," the Cyclones manager continued.
Servidio is a spark plug to the offense, but his role still can not be defined. Drafted out of college, he was looked at as a plus bat that hits for average as well as power. One full year later, he has shown glimpses of the power, but with a tendency to over-swing his average has taken a hit.
"At times he may try to overdo when he gets a good pitch to hit, he sometimes over-swings. He knows he has some power and at times he tries to do too much with it, but that is typical of a young player and that is something he will keep on learning and I am happy as long as he keeps playing well," Lopez detailed.
Servidio is batting .221 through 19 games, but he has shown glimpses of production by driving guys in as well as driving the ball out of the yard (his four home runs tie for the NYPL lead). Greater consistency and discipline swinging the bat may help him climb the organization's ranks, but he also has high personal goals for his second season.
"I really plan on making the all-star team, and just making an impression on the Mets. Making an impression is my real goal. To show that I am the truth and that I am not here on a whim. I have also never won a ring anywhere on any level and would really like to be on the team that wins the New York-Penn League," he concluded.
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