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December 19, 2007 – Jesse Hoorelbeke Talks December 19, 2007

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
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Atlantic League Player of The Year Jesse Hoorelbeke Speaks: The reigning co-Atlantic League Player of the Year and avid AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com reader Jesse Hoorelbeke is excited to go into the holidays knowing he’s a member of the Anaheim Angels organization. The former Bridgeport Bluefish first baseman took some time to chat with me tonight about the opportunity after a stellar season.

Scott: You hit .313 with 33 home runs and 96 RBIs for the Fish this season. Talk about the year you put together.

Jesse: I was having fun, trying to prove I know what I’m doing out there. When I was let go by the Cubs, I thought, let’s go play indy ball so I can prove myself. I know how to play this game and wasn’t going to settle. It was that confidence that carried me through the season.

Scott: How did the deal with the Angels work out?

Jesse: I went down to play in Mexico and left about a week and a half before Thanksgiving to come back home. A scout who saw me talked to another scout who knew me from the Dodgers and looked up my info and that was it. They tried calling me, my dad, everyone to get in touch me with and tracked me down. They’re giving me a shot at Triple-A and I’m excited that I can work out knowing I’m going to Spring Training with a club and not have to look for a job.

Scott: Some guys start giving up that last month and a half of the season, thinking they won’t get picked up. You kept pushing and put together a great season. What kept you going?

Jesse: I was given the opportunity, with about a month and a half left to play, to go to Taiwan and I turned it down. I didn’t want to back out on the guys I played with all season long. I also took some advice and stuck it out to finish the year on a good note. That last game of the season I homered and I’ve never done that to end the year. I had fun in Bridgeport and I didn’t want to leave and chance not keeping my rhythm going.

Scott: What type of things are you going to be doing to prepare yourself for the season now that your back with an organization?

Jesse: Nothing much different really. I’m going to keep running, lifting and everything, but nothing serious until after the Christmas holiday. I’m in the same boat as tons of other guys who just had 400 at-bats this season and just need a little break. After that I’ll work on my hitting and the usual training routine.

Scott: You’ve been let go by organizations in the past. What have you learned or what can you do differently to make sure that doesn’t happen again?

Jesse: Listen to Jesse’s answer. (3.03 MB – 1:05 – MP3)

Scott: What were your expectations coming into the Atlantic League and what are they now?

Jesse: I thought the competition would be stiff and I was right. But it was more relaxed than serious, but still, everyone acted professionally. I had a good time and played with a lot of great guys. I played with a few of them in Mexico. Everyone knew their role and played hard.

Suarez Signs: Former Road Warrior and Long Island Ducks infielder Gabe Suarez inked a minor league deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He’s expected to report to Spring Training, where he’ll be assigned to one of their affiliates.

The former 26th round-draft pick of the Montreal Expos hit .252 with the Road Warriors before joining the Ducks in September. There he hit .394 in 10 games.

Surf Making Waves: The Atlantic City Surf made to signings today, inking Piscataway native Kwesi Mitchell and Utah native Zadoc Christensen. Mitchell, an oufielder, spent the 2007 season at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, leading the team with a .371 average, 13 home runs and 44 RBI. The home run and RBI marks were both school records. Christiensen, a shortstop, played college ball at Friends College in his home state.

Talking ‘Bout The Revolution: The York Revolution re-signed pitching coach Tippy Martinez and hitting coach Ryan Minor for another season. They’ll partner up again with fellow former Baltimore Oriole and manager Chris Hoiles. The team probably isn’t bringing back Al Bumbry. – Scott Stanchak

Bartee Joins Pirates Organization: One of our handy-dandy tipsters has pointed out that former Long Island Ducks OF Kimera Bartee has joined the Pittsburgh Pirates organization as a minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator.

It seems like more and more players with Atlantic League experience are making their way into the coaching ranks…which may say a lot as to why younger players like Hoorelbeke have so much success in the league. You might remember from my chat with Bobby Malek that he credited Quinton McCracken for some of his success on the field, pointing towards his veteran leadership. – Mike Ashmore

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