When the Atlanta Bravesswapped shortstops last year in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays, most Brave fans were focused on the immediate impact. With spring training right around the corner, some of those fans might now be focused on the future impact.
Tyler Pastornicky, a 5th round pick out of IMG Academy baseball program in 2008, was a Florida State League All Star making a bus trip across the state when news broke that he had been traded. At first, the 20 year old shortstop thought it was a joke but soon after reality would set in. With a few days to gather his belongings, Pastornicky boarded a plane headed to Jackson, Mississippi, the Southern League home of the Mississippi Braves. Southern League??? That's correct. Along with the trade came a promotion to Double A
Today he boarded another plane, headed to Atlanta for a week long rookie development program.
"We want to introduce them to some of the things that they will see once they get to the Majors," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "This is something we've talked about for a few years. We're really excited to see how it works."
âIt's really just to get them exposed to the environment here and the place that hopefully they're going to be in the next few years,â Braves director of player development Kurt Kempsaid. â(It's about) getting them in the stadium and in the clubhouse and around the community, around the staff, an enrichment program to hopefully aid in the process of them developing into major league players.â
Click the links below to read more about the rookie development program.