Greetings from Arizona!
Hey, everybody. Chad Huffman here with the San Diego Padres/Peoria Saguros. Since this is my first blog entry, I want to first give you a little background information about myself. I grew up in Missouri City, TX – just outside of Houston. I attended Elkins High School where I played football and baseball. At Elkins, I was teammates with James Loney (first baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers). We won back-to-back state championships in 2002 and 2003 as well as the mythical national championship in 2002. After high school, I attended Texas Christian University (TCU) on a football scholarship and played quarterback while also playing baseball.
All we have done is practice during our first week out here in Arizona. The practices have been pretty laid back, which is great for the players because it gives us an opportunity to get to know each other a little better before we start playing games on October 7th. It has been a lot of fun to see so many talented players on the same field. Our coaches are great – they are very approachable and seem very enthusiastic about coaching in the AFL.
One of my first memorable experiences in professional baseball involved our Fall League pitching coach, Wally Whitehurst. I remember walking up to him on the bus and saying, “Hey, I’m Chad Huffman.” He replied, “That’s great, now go sit down.” No hi, my name is Wally or anything – that was it! So I just sat down in my seat on the bus – which had no A/C, by the way – and thought to myself, “so this is what pro ball is all about.” I now actually think that story is pretty hilarious. Wally and I got to know each other pretty well during my time in Eugene, Oregon (Short-Season). Wally is a great coach, an even better guy and I am excited to have the opportunity to work with him during the AFL.
For all the readers out there, if you have questions about anything, just write me a message and I will be more than happy to answer them for you.
Hey, Chad! This will be a really cool blog. As a Padres fan, I’ve certainly heard of you, and I am looking forward to seeing you in the majors. About how many players are out there right now?
As a fellow Houstonian, it both amazes me and makes me proud to see another Houston baseball success story. Best of luck!
Thank you. I greatly appreciate the support and feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to grow up playing baseball in the Houston area.
I’m such a HUGE Chad Huffman fan and I’m SO excited about reading your blogs! Good luck with fall ball hottie 🙂
Hey, Chad, how’s it going? It’s cool seeing you have your own blog, even if it’s only for your time as a Saguaro. I wasn’t aware of your James Loney connection. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to face and the Dodgers at some time next season. You also have the pleasure of playing at your home spring training ballpark. I don’t know, maybe it would be more fun if you could mix up, but at least you’re somewhat aware of the facility. Keep up the great blogging.
hey chad, i heard your name mentioned in “before the bigs” with loney on fox! i was hoping you would be asked by the padres to play in the fall league! i am a big dodgerfan but certainly like to watch the other organizations in the west. i live 2 miles from the stadium and will visit the fall games weekly! my question to you is ” does a ballplayer have to change his swing to hit for power or can he “grow into” a power hitter”? alot of so called experts think loney will hit 30-40 homers one day, i know he likes to work out and pitch counts can let a hitter “let it go” swing a little more aggressively, but is that it? stay healthy and enjoy! i’ll see you at the park! cLAY
I do not necessarily think a player has to change his swing to increase his power. I think that players naturally learn to drive the ball better as they physically mature each year and gain experience hitting against better pitchers at each level.
Hey Chad Im a huge Padres fan, what a great blog! That was very well written, I especially liked the part about coach Whitehurst, that was really funny!! What from the fall league experience do you plan on taking with you to the 09 season? Cant wait to see you in the pros!!!
Yo Chad, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.
I do have a question: What are some specific playing improvements that you, or teammates of yours have made during your time in the minors?
I ask because you hear analysts talk all the time about guys needing to make “adjustments” or something like that, but rarely do you hear specific examples of what these things are, and what the expected result should be.
Maybe like, a batting coach asked this-guy to bend his knees to provide more balance during the swing. Or perhaps a defensive coach had an outfielder start an exercise program of calf-raises to boost running speed.
My examples are kind of dumb, but I think you get the idea.
If anyone is interested, my San Diego Padres Blog is a rousing good time.
Adjustments vary from player to player. Personally, for example, I have stood up a little more in the batter’s box as a professional. I feel this adjustment has given me a better opportunity to get extended and get more leverage – this gives me more backspin, which allows the ball have more carry. In college, I had more of a wider base than I have today.
Hey Chad good luck i love the padres i cant wait for the next blog
keep me posted thanks Shane King
hey chad good luck cant wait for the next blog keep me posted
thanks Shane Waffle King(yea thats my last name Waffle king)
I am a big Padre fan and BYU fan. So I am glad that I can cheer for you now that you are out of the Mountain West.
Hope to see you in the bigs soon. I like to see athletes from the Mountain West make it.
Hi, Chad!!! Love your blog! So proud of you!! Good luck out there in Scottsdale! Amber
Cool, thanks Chad. Hope the AFL is going well!
wheres pete incaviglia?