Carter Making Noise At The Plate
A change of scenery can go a long way towards helping a ballplayer finally realize his full potential. Learning the game in a different way can be the one thing that has been missing.
Look no further than Bisons outfielder Chris Carter who is having a fantastic season in Triple-A Buffalo.
The 27-year-old spent the last two seasons in the Red Sox organization and came over to the Mets in the trade that sent Billy Wagner to Boston. He is batting .337 in 25 games this season with five home runs, 18 RBI, a .393 on-base percentage and .995 OPS.
On the road he is even better, posting a .340 average and he has destroyed left handed pitching this season to the tune of a .409 average.
Carter believes the change has helped but attributes his success to finding happiness in his personal life.
"I'm happy," Carter said. "Being with the Bisons right now, there are a lot of great players here and I think we are able to feed off each other. I really like working with [the coaches] here. [Coming to the Mets organization] has been good for me."
The clubhouse in Buffalo is chock-full of guys dedicated to a team-first mentality, a significant change from last year's club,and Carter is just another one of those players. He really believes the Bisons have a number of guys with a lot of talent and is just happy to be able to play with them every day.
Carter feels that his attitude and solid play will help to show the Mets the player he can be.
"There are a lot of tremendous players here in this organization especially here at the Triple-A level," Carter said. "I just want to play well and help the team win. I want to show the Mets that I am capable of doing a good job when I get the opportunity."
Like many other players, Carter is really focusing on his health on a daily basis. He works on his flexibility and strength every day before and after he comes to the ballpark because if he gets hurt, he can't help his team.
With the Red Sox, the outfielder primarily played in the infield and has really had to work to learn how to play defensively and thinks he has finally figured everything out.
"I just had to work on it all the time," Carter said of his transition to the outfield. "It's been a lot of extra work and getting instructions from coaches on how to best play the outfield. I feel just as comfortable now in the outfield as I do at first base."
Since Opening Day, Carter has been locked in at the plate and he just keeps getting better as the season progresses.
He maximizes every at bat from the standpoint of taking advantage of whatever pitch the pitcher decides to throw. If he has to drive the ball to the opposite field to get a hit instead of grounding out in hopes of pulling the ball, he has shown the ability to do it.
Carter has been someone his team can count on all season long and he even showed his flare for the dramatic in a game on May 2 against Louisville.
With two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning, Carter came up to the plate and ended the game with a home run over the right field wall to win the game for the Bisons.
After the game, Carter couldn't remember the last time he experienced such a special moment.
"It was absolutely amazing," Carter said. "That was a great game. I was just happy to be a part of it. The game had a youthful energy that I haven't experienced in a long time."
The outfielders in New York have struggled at times, but the Mets are dedicated to their current outfielders despite Carter's excellent numbers. Carter has experience filling in at the big league level and is so far giving the Mets something to think about regarding Carter's possible future as a bat off the bench.
Although it will probably take an injury or trade to make room for Carter with the big club, he waits anxiously but is happy to be playing for the Bisons right now.
"I would love the opportunity to play in New York but right now I'm just focusing on being a Bison and doing the best I can do here for this team," Carter said. "I think that attitude will ultimately help me with the Mets if I get called up. Focusing on the task at hand rather than the future is important."
In the meantime, Carter will continue to try and help the Bisons win games and enjoy the success he has had so far this year.
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