Monday, May 6, 2013

Prep baseball: Catching up with Manatee's Prime and Palmetto's Goetzman


Manatee alum Correlle Prime is currently in extended spring training with the Colorado Rockies after wrapping his first spring training.
"It was a  bit overwhelming to take in," Prime said last week from the Rockies' spring home in Scottsdale, Ariz. "There were a lot of different guys, and it was a bit different than instructs. But I'm handling it pretty well."
Prime was the Rockies' 12th-round pick last summer. He signed with the team a few weeks after the draft and reported right to their short-season Rookie League affiliate in Grand Junction. Consequently, this past spring was his first in camp.
The Rockies mix their big-league and minor-league camps together, so Prime often crossed paths with stars such as Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton.
"The guys walk by you in the hallway, and they'll stop and say hello, help you out if you've got a  question," Prime said. "They're a great group of guys, and they made it great. As a high school kid coming in, it was a lot to handle. But I feel like I did a pretty good job."
One of the perks of extended spring is Prime gets to play everyday. Though he was Manatee's ace for two seasons, Prime is working strictly as a first baseman with the Rockies, where he played 26 of 36 games last year with Grand Junction.
"I'm getting my reps, getting my at-bats," said Prime, who hit .283 with 11 RBIs last year at Grand Junction. "That's how you go about getting better.
"This is a great organization to be in. They don't want to rush the younger guys, and they take real good care of us."
Prime is hoping to break camp with one of the Rockies' short-season affiliates.
Palmetto grad Granden Goetzman made his first full-season pro roster when the Tampa Bay Rays assigned him to their low Class-A team in Bowling Green. Goetzman was the Rays' second-round pick in 2011.
Goetzman began last season with short-season Princeton and was hitting .298 with seven stolen bases and eight RBIs through 12 games, a marked improvement after he struggled with the Rays' Gulf Coast League team in Port Charlotte the summer he was drafted.
But a back injury ended his season in early July.
"We found out I had a small stress fracture in my back and the doctor said it was something I'd had for quite a while, maybe even back to high school," Goetzman told in October. "It was just the daily grind of pro ball that finally made the problem totally show itself."
Goetzman is hitting  .154 in six games with the Hot Rods, who compete in the Midwest League. But he hit his first home run of the year Saturday, which was the game-winner in Bowling Green's 3-2 win over Clinton.
A promotion would be homecoming of sorts for Goetzman: The Rays' high Single-A team is in Port Charlotte.

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