Trevor May At The Bat

There are some things in sports that just look like they’re easy to do.

Shooting a free throw looks easy. Putting a golf ball looks easy. Punting a football looks easy.

Of course, none of these things actually are easy, otherwise there’d be some dude named John Stolnis with a 98% free throw percentage playing point guard for the Sixers.

However, one of things that does not look easy is hitting a baseball thrown by a professional Major League pitcher.

There’s nothing about it that looks routine. The way the ball dips and dives and moves, the sheer velocity at which the ball is traveling, the nanoseconds a hitter has to decide if he’s going to swing or let the pitch go, and the hand-eye coordination required to square up a round ball with a round bat, is almost inconceivable.

It’s a wonder anyone can do it.

Which makes it even more amazing when a pitcher, someone who almost never practices the art of hitting, who doesn’t study tape of opposing pitchers, and who only gets to bat four or five times a week (at most), actually hits a ball hard and gets on base.

Which is perhaps why Phils top prospect Trever May was so pysched about his first professional hit, a double in his start last Thursday…

If I hit a double in a professional baseball game, I’d carry around a CD of that video from now until the end of time. Not only that, May also pitched a solid game last Thursday, allowing just one earned run on four hits and a walk while striking out six over seven innings, as Reading won 4-1 against Harrisburg. That makes May 2-0 on the season in his first two starts, with a 3.75 ERA and a very good 0.92 WHIP.

Jonathan Pettibone is also off to a good start in 2012, 1-1 with a 2.95 ERA in three starts for the R-Phils, as is Julio Rodriguez, who is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA. Sebastian Valle and Jiwan James both continue to pace the Reading offense. Valle is 9 for 30 so far on the season with an OPS of .767. He’s striking out a lot early on (10 so far) and not getting on base quite enough (only 2 walks) but otherwise he’s off to a good start. James is 12 for 33 with 2 HRs, 6 RBIs and an OPS of 1.058.

Domonic Brown, after a slow start, has gotten hot, hitting .297 with an OPS of .755, and reports from Ruben Amaro are that he’s doing well defensively so far.

And in Clearwater, it’s only been two starts each for Brody Colvin and Jesse Biddle, but both have gotten off a bit slowly, with Colvin sporting a 4.50 ERA in 10 innings and Biddle a 6.48 ERA in 8.1 innings. Perci Garner, who at the start of the season was out of most Top 20 lists of Phillies prospects but was seen as a sleeper by some, is off to a very strong start in his first two appearances. He has a 2.70 ERA in 10 innings thus far.

As for Justin De Fratus, he’s still rehabbing from a sore elbow this spring, working down in Clearwater. However, he threw to hitters on Monday and could begin a rehabilitation assignment as soon as this week. Happily, his rehab has not stopped him from kicking his feet up with some popcorn while watching an all-time comedy classic this week…

“You’ve been missing a lot of work lately, haven’t you, Peter?”

“Well, I wouldn’t exactly say I’ve been ‘missing’ it, Bob.” Classic.

Earlier this week, Jonathan Pettibone had the marvelous experience of trying to drive through the great state of Virginia.

Welcome to the commuter hell in which I live every single day of my life, Jonathan. My guess is you tried driving on I-95 in Northern Virginia. That’ll learn ya!

Tyson Gillies is a big fan of the Rocky movies (hey, who isn’t?), but for him, it takes him back to his family days…

I used to fight with my brother, but we used to do it bare-knuckle style. With mustaches. And brill creme in our hair. We were men of honor. Anything less than 33 rounds and you were tarred and feathered as a chicken of the highest order. I’m sure Tyson’s experience was much like mine.

And finally, Trevor May shows all of us that the life of a minor league ballplayer, even one as highly touted as him, isn’t really so much different than the rest of us…

Unless of course he’s talking about the movie “Paycheck.” In which case, my guess would be to check one of the 800 HBO channels courtesy of your local cable provider.

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