07/25/2008 12:53 PM
25 July 2008
Experience, Maturity Keys to Success
For Falmouth’s All-Star Infielder Cesario
FALMOUTH, Mass. – The 5-foot-11 left-hander strolls to home plate and digs in. His stance communicating his sureness. His focus displaying his confidence.
While he may look the part, Jimmy Cesario is not your ordinary Cape Cod Baseball League player. The Falmouth Commodores’ West Division All-Star second baseman brings a lot more than sureness and confidence to each at-bat.
Cesario brings maturity.
Cesario brings experience.
Cesario will be turning 23 in October, an unordinary age for a league that is used to showcasing players 21 and under.
But age is not the only number that sets the University of Houston product apart from the rest. Cesario has combined his maturity with his sureness to deliver extraordinary offensive numbers.
Through June 23, Cesario was leading the Cape Cod Baseball League in RBI (29) and hits (51) and his .381 batting average was third best.
Cesario started his college baseball career in 2005 at Delgado Junior College in New Orleans. He sat out what was to be his freshman year and redshirted in 2006. Then he transferred to Houston, earning C-USA Newcomer of the Year in 2007.
“He has that extra time playing at the college level, so certainly that is helping him,” Falmouth manager Jeff Trundy said of Cesario’s experience. “But part of it also is that he understands that it is something that is going to help him perform at a higher level.”
Cesario joined the Commodores as a temporary player. The Colorado Rockies drafted him on June 6 in the 46th round, but he elected to spend the summer on the Cape rather than sign immediately.
“I wasn’t on a permanent contract, but I believe in my abilities and, if given the opportunity, I felt that I could contribute and play well for the team,” he said.
And those contributions include more than just driving in runs or getting the clutch hit late in the game – two things Cesario has mastered. Trundy enjoys having an older player on the squad, saying Cesario provides leadership by example for the younger players.
“A lot of that comes before fans are even here -- when you come for BP, or you come for early work, those kinds of thing. He is focused. He concentrates on getting better and that carries over to all the other guys. (When) they see a guy that is a junior that is busting his tail and doing things the way he should before a game starts, then they are going to do the same thing.”
Cesario, however, sees the age differential as a reciprocal relationship he has with his teammates.
“I am the grandpa of the teams, so to speak, but it is good,” he said. “Guys will talk to me about some of my experiences and we kind of feed off each other. There are advantages to being young, 18 or 19, and there is other advantages where I have had a little more experience in certain situations. It has been a give-and-take and a good situation.”
Cesario, originally from Metairie, La., was named the CCBL’s Coca-Cola Player of the Week for the week ending July 12. Starting on July 6, he went 15-for-29, driving in seven runs in the process and recording three three-hit games.
During the week-long tearm he also displayed his clutch-hitting abilities. On July 8, Cesario laced a two-out triple in the eighth to plate the eventual winning run in the Commodores’ 9-8 victory over Wareham. Three nights later, his two-run homer in the seventh knotted the contest with Cotuit. Falmouth would then score once more in the seventh to notch a 3-2 victory.
“He is an exceptional athlete and he is willing to make adjustments. Not only willing to make adjustments, capable of making adjustments,” Trundy said of his No.4 hitter. “He can make in-game adjustments. He can make adjustments even within an at-bat when a guy is pitching to him. That is part of his experience factor.”
Cesario is the West’s starting second baseman for the All-Star Game, but he started the season in the outfield while the Commodores were waiting for their primary outfielders to arrive. Having a player who adds depth at multiple positions is something Trundy sees as a luxury as well as a benefit to the player.
“(It has been) happening not because of his lack of ability to be playing someplace, it is his ability to play everywhere,” Trundy said. “I think that is going to help him professionally ... He can do a lot of different things.”
Cesario says it has not been a big transition and he is happy to help the team in any way he can.
“He plays the game to win. He competes. When you consider that and his athletic ability, I’d say he has a great career in front of him,” Trundy said. “It is going to be fun following him.”
Laura Rasmussen, CCBL Intern ([email protected])
Interns: Chris Blake, James Chandley, Ashley Crosby, Phil Garceau, Stefanie Marini, Laura Rasmussen