Cody Overbeck Interview

Phuture Phillies recently got a chance to sit down with the Threshers slugging third baseman Cody Overbeck to talk with him about baseball and life. Overbeck was drafted in the ninth round of the 2008 draft out of Ole Miss after his Junior season and finished the summer of that year in Williamsport where he hit .272 and set a team record for RBIs in a season. In 2009 Cody skipped over Lakewood going to high-A Clearwater where he had an off season hitting just .230, but at Clearwater again for a second season in 2010 he has gotten off to a red hot start. We wanted to know what he thought about his season so far, how he got here today, and where he hoped to be at the end of the year.

PP: Growing up in Tennessee what was you favorite baseball team?
CO: I was originally born in southern Illinois a little more than an hour from St. Louis so everyone I knew were Cardinals fans.

PP: Who were some of your favorite players as a kid?
CO: I really liked Ozzie Smith and then a fan of Mark McGuire.

PP: What was it like to be drafted by the Phillies when you were taken in 2008?
CO: I didn’t think too much about being picked by any particular team going into the draft, I was just happy to get the chance to keep playing baseball and see what I could do.

PP: In 2008 you played your first season at Williamsport where you set a team record for RBIs. You had played a full college season, then all summer with the Phillies. What was that first season like?
CO: It was tough. I had a long year and then I played in the FIL (Florida Instructional League) after the season, so I didn’t get done playing baseball until the middle of October.

PP: In 2009 you skipped Lakewood and came straight to Clearwater. You played in 96 games and hit .230 with the team having a record of 67-69. How did you feel at the end of the season about how the year had gone for you?
CO: I didn’t feel good about it, I had a bad year. I don’t want to make excuses for why I did so poorly, but I had a nagging groin injury most of the year and no one here could really figure out what was going on.

PP: What did you do during the offseason last year to come back so strong this year then?
CO: I went to see my college trainer at Ole Miss during the offseason, and he knew right away what my injury was because he had seen it in another player just the year before. I had an athletic pubalgia which is kind of like a sports hernia. I had surgery for that back in December and I felt a lot better both physically and mentally coming into this season.

PP: What goals did you set for yourself for the 2010 season?
CO: My goal this year and every year is just to come out and do the best I can. Everyone thinks about making the all-star team or getting to double A, but those are things that I have no control over. All I can do is come out and play baseball and stay focused. If I do my best then hopefully those other things will follow, but I don’t let myself be obsessed by what does or doesn’t happen.

PP: Dusty Wathan took the Blueclaws to a League Championship last year, and many of your teammates this year were on that Lakewood squad. Is one of the team’s goals this season to repeat that in Clearwater?
CO: I don’t really think that is a stated goal, but of course we want to win. It makes it a lot more fun coming to the ballpark every day.

PP: Would it be more fulfilling for you to end the season with Clearwater and win a league championship or to move up to Reading before the season is over?
CO: I would like to get to Reading and see what I can do, but again that is out of my control. I really enjoy being around this group of guys. We have a fun team this year, so if I could stay here and win a championship with these guys or just to have a good year with this group of guys would be a lot of fun.

PP: I know playing in Florida in the summers has got to be tough. What is it like for you as a player?
CO: It’s tough, but you kind of just get used to it. The day games are the worst, and we seem to have a lot more of those this year than we had last year. The crowds are smaller, so you kind of get used to just going out and playing, but on nights when we get a good crowd it definitely makes it more fun to have the crowd behind you, especially when you’re playing in a close game.

As of the time I got to sit down and talk with Cody he leads the Florida State League and AVG., Doubles, HR, Total Bases, SLG., OPS and the team is solidly in first place with a record of 23-12 on the season. He was named the Phillies minor league player-of-the-month for April and was picked as an FSL Player-of-the Week. Cody is just one of many bright spots on a very talented Clearwater squad this season, and a super down to earth kid. We wish him and the rest of the team continued success.

About Jeff Crupper

It depends on which blog you are reading, but now now you have either discovered that I am a huge baseball fan, or that I have a twisted sense of humor and like to rant about just about anything. Whichever it is I hope you enjoy your stay and spread the word.

23 thoughts on “Cody Overbeck Interview

  1. Often I am harsh on assessing prospects, but I still root for each and every one of them. Thanks to Cody for doing the interview. Incidently, Ozzie Smith was my favorite childhood player as well.

  2. If there is anyone else you guys are interested in hearing from this year give me a shout. This interview was at the request of a PP reader. I haven’t gotten to contribute as much the last year or so as I did for a long time, but I’d be glad to contribute with an interview here or there. clearwaterthresher@jeffcrupper.com

  3. Thanks Cody for doing this and Thanks Jeff for making it happen. Its more appriciated than any of us could express. I would love to hear from a bunch of the threshers throughout the season when its convenient. It would be really interesting to hear from May and J.C. about what they are working on and what they are told by the org. I’d love to hear from sanchez about how his transition is going and how he views it, and from Correa about his struggles with org issues and how he has gotten back. Gose would be a really interesting interview with his prospect status and the way his season has started. I know Gump has a blog and loves to write, Im sure he would jump at the chance. Those are just some ideas i figured i would throw out. Any and all contributions are welcome. Thanks so much Jeff.

  4. The injury thing is disturing to me the trainer didnt know, and didnt seek a doctors opinion. A lot of time and effort is put into developing these kids and medical evaluation is important.

  5. Thanks for the interview Jeff.

    I think interviews like this are really an excellent tool for the site. We focus a lot on the blue chip guys and the guys we expect and hope become stars, but talking to a guy like Overbeck, you really understand that these guys (well, most of them) really love the sport, and that’s why they keep doing it.

    Great stuff.

  6. Great interview, I’m glad that Cody was honest and didn’t just give canned responses.

    1. Sounds like he doesn’t have a lot of faith in the medical team with the Phils. He mentions that as soon as he went back to his college trainer, he knew “right away” what the problem was, when nobody in Clearwater could figure it out.

    2. I’m glad he’s being honest and admitting that the #1 priority for him is progressing through the system, and while winning is great, it’s the #2 priority.

  7. Matt Says:
    May 15, 2010 at 9:16 AM
    Great interview, I’m glad that Cody was honest and didn’t just give canned responses.

    1. Sounds like he doesn’t have a lot of faith in the medical team with the Phils. He mentions that as soon as he went back to his college trainer, he knew “right away” what the problem was, when nobody in Clearwater could figure it out.

    in all fairness the trainer knew what it was because he mentioned he had just seen the exact injury to someone else

  8. Its hard to tell if the medical team is iffy or that the Phils policy is to understate an injury (Happ, Rollins). Two days turns into two weeks then two months, and its been that way for a long,long time. I don’t know if that is SOP for all of baseball.

  9. Well, to me the main point here is the light it sheds on Cody as a prospect. Cody does not make excuses, but physically AND mentally, a groin injury can be with you every second, especially when you are required to perform athletically. The hips and groin are a big part of hitting. Midsection strength and flexibility is what enables your trunk to whip into the ball, deploying your full body into a swing. Without that, you are hitting with your arms only.

    If his troubles last year were due to this injury, then we have to give him the BOTD for last year and assume that this year and 2008 are a true indication of his ability to mash.

    So that makes the Reading test one of his two crucibles. We will know more about his prospect status if he can adjust in a reasonable time to the better command, tighter breaking stuff, and just better overall talent in the Eastern League, which is probably one of the top 3 or 4 minor leagues in basebal. If so, we have player with real potential to help.

    The second crucible is his fielding. To have a chance to start for Phils in, say, 3-4 years, he will have to be a solid, if not spectacular 3B-man. That means consistent throws, decent range, making the tough plays like bunts, and catching everything that comes to him. We all know Phils will not install a good hitter who does not field consistently. A great hitter like Howard, yes. But Cory is not in that category. Without the fielding, he has a chance to be a valuable guy off the bench.

    I would like to know how his glove work is progressing.

    Good interview, and I agree Cory comes across very well. I like his “day to day, have fun” attitude. Now that I know him a little better, I will be focusing on him more and rooting harder.

  10. Lamar said on Friday night it was between Rizzotti and Overbeck for who to push upward due to Gillies injury.

  11. I think part of the reason Cody is in Clearwater still is because Mattair quit and the issue becomes who replaces Cody at Clearwater-the Phillies basically said as much. I expect Cody to replace Pickney by years end in reading

  12. pp The trainer saw the injury before isnt a reason to excuse the phillies trainer. In my mind if you don’t know, you find out ask someone else, maybe they have seen it before. get medical attention, if your ashamed to do that or fear job lost, then you dont deserve to be a trainer for a baseball team. just my opinion

  13. If he were a first round pick…………?

    This team has a caste system. Maybe they all do.

  14. Why not move Pickney down—he is not a prospect and Overbeck would be way more fun to watch in Reading.

  15. If they do anything with Pinkcney it will be to move him to start at 2B and do something with Ozzie Chavez. Also with the likely return of J. Rollins in a couple of days, someone (likely Melvin Dorta wil come down from LVIP if Phillies decide to send down Wilson Valdez. Alternative to that is to move Juan Castro retroactively to Disabled List and delay that for awhile. Move to promote Overbeck, would likely create a plan with Cody at 3rd, Galvis at SS, Pinckney at 2b with Dorta working in there and as reserve IF, Chavez released ( or they could release one of the 4 First Basemen. It may be the Overbeck move only awaits the Rollins resolution.

  16. What should they do with Ozzie Chavez…???? You had him being called up to the Majors last season, you dont suggest releasing him do you?

  17. I don’t advocate releasing him , but with the likely return of Wilson Valdez to AAA, and the likely return of Melvin Dorta to AA, that is what they might do. I, on the other hand, would consider, with the recent promotion of Matt Rizzotti who seems to be a hitter, the release of one of their 3 other First Basemen, (Bozied, Mahar, Stavisky) none of whom, if I remember from what I read today, is hitting over .238. If I advocated Chavez to MLB last season, it was in the context of place-holder , to hold a player in reserve, in order to give MLB bench players ,after the September 1 roster expansion, a chance to play more down the stretch to prepare for the playoffs.

  18. Thanks for this, Jeff and Cody. Keep raking! And keep taking those walks like last night…let them pitch around you if they’re too scared to throw it over the plate!

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