The off season has been a quick one and I couldn’t be more excited for the season to start up again. After participating in the Arizona Fall League I returned home in November and immediately started working out and preparing for this upcoming season. I’ve been working on fine tuning all the aspects of game that will help me succeed at the next level. I have been training at New Jersey Sports Advantage where they have cages, weights, and a track so I can get everything I need done there. My off season has exactly 2 weeks left as I just found out a couple days ago that I was invited to the Seattle Mariner’s minor league mini camp which will start up on February 15th. I will be departing for Arizona on the 14th ( my girlfriend is not very happy about the date they chose to send us out there as that is valentines day). After thinking about it and trying different models I decided I will start off the season swinging the Viper JH5 model. I tried it out last year and I like the way it felt in my hand and the barrel it has. I’m hoping for good things this year and I will be reporting back once Spring Training gets under way.
The first couple weeks out here in Clinton have been nothing short of a whirlwind. When we first arrived out here we practiced for one day and left the next morning for a 7 game road trip to face the Burlington Bees (Angels) and Kane County Cougars (Cubs). In the second game vs Burlington I was part of a back to back to back home run sequence in the top half of the first inning. I hit the 3rd homerun in the sequence and that is actually the 2nd time in my professional career I have hit the 3rd home run of a back to back to back sequence. It happened last year in the Northwest League vs the Spokane Indians when Mike Zunino, Taylor Ard and myself did it.
Once we returned home from that road trip is when all the craziness began. Not only did we have baseball to worry about but we also had to find a place to live and going through the process of finding an apartment and signing the lease and getting settled in. One of the reasons it has taken me so long to finally update you guys on the season is that we finally got internet and cable yesterday.
We played the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Twins) on our opening day series and the first two games of that series were cancelled due to rain. We played 2 7-inning double headers the next two days. This would become the norm the next week as the rains poured down on us and caused 2 games at Quad Cities (Astros) to get cancelled and 2 more vs Wisconsin( Brewers). We had to make up all these games with 7 inning double headers. As of today we have played more 7 inning games than 9 inning games.
As a team it is tough with these circumstances to get on a hot streak because we never knew if we would be playing that day. It seems as if the rain has finally come and gone which is good and hopefully the cold weather will be on its way out soon also and we can get some warmer weather and play some games on an every night basis.
We finish up a home series against the Beloit Snappers (A’s) this Tuesday then it is off on a road trip to play the Lake County Captains (Indians) and Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres). Ill do another post when we return from road trip and let you guys know how it went.
Just checking in to let everybody know spring training went well and I will be starting the year in the mid-west league for the Clinton Lumberkings. We have a lot of good players and should be a fun and entertaining year. We open the season vs the Burlington Bees and then travel to play the Kane County Cougars. I’ll be keeping you guys updated weekly now that the season is getting underway. Have a great night and let’s play ball!
Hope everyone is having a good day and is ready for the start of baseball season. I’m currently out here in Peoria, Arizona participating in the Mariners mini-camp program. I arrived on February 15th and the camp runs until March 1. We then will have a couple days to recover and get ready for the start of Minor League Spring Training. The coaches have given each player here a couple things to work on and improve during the camp. They’ve been helping me a ton so far and i am excited for the start of Spring Training. They also have us on a strict throwing program and fielding program to prepare us. I will be posting weekly to keep everybody updated on how spring training is going and how i am preparing myself for the start of the season. I currently am working on getting some pictures of myself swinging my new Viper 244′s. I will also be posting things about Viper on twitter. I’ve already put up a picture of my shipments of bats. You can follow me @PatrickKivlehan if you want. Hope to hear from some of you soon. I’ll update you guys sometime next week. Have a good day everybody
Hello everybody my name is Patrick Kivlehan, Chris from Viper Bats approached me about doing a blog about my story and the life of a professional baseball player. I look forward to sharing my stories and hearing back from you guys throughout the season. For my first blog I will just tell you guys my story and my unique path to professional baseball.
I was born and raised in West Nyack, New York. It is about 20 minutes north of New York City. I was a die hard Mets fan growing up and a big New York sports fan in general. My two favorite sports growing up were baseball and football. I played Little League baseball and Pop Warner football all the way up until it was time to go to high school. I chose to go to a private all boys catholic high school called, St. Joseph Regional High School in New Jersey instead of my town high school in New York. This decision was made so I could hopefully get more exposure to colleges than I coulde at my town high school. I live right on the boarder of New York and New Jersey so it was only a 15 minute drive back and forth.
In High School i played football and baseball all four years and received All County and All State honors for both sports. Heading into my senior year I knew the biggest question that needed to be answered was whether I was going to play baseball or football in college. I spent my summers going to football camps instead of showcases for baseball so my name was not really out there for baseball scouts to find me. I had a good senior football season and once the season was over took all my visits to colleges and on the night before the National Signing Day for football I received a full scholarship offer from Rutgers University to play defensive back. I had received some Divison 1AA scholarships but Rutgers was my only Division 1A scholarship. The next morning I signed my name on the line to play football and defensive back at Rutgers. I knew this meant I would have to give up baseball but the full scholarship was impossible to pass up. I played my senior season in baseball and put up really good numbers and had to hear it from my coaches all season that I should play baseball in college instead of football. I knew they were right but there was nothing I could do at that point, I was already committed for football.
I attended Rutgers where i played football from 2008-2012. Lets just say my career did not go the way I had hoped it would. I was mostly a back up with a few starts here and there and a special teams player. After my senior season was complete I wanted to get back into baseball. I approached the Rutgers baseball coach over the winter and asked him if I could try out for the team. I made the team and with an injury occuring on the first day of practice I was now the starting 3rd baseman. I ended up putting up good numbers this past college season and was named the Big East Player of the Year and was named a 3rd Team All American. I was the first person in Big East history to win the league Triple Crown. All of a sudden there was talk of me getting drafted in the upcoming draft.
I was drafted in the 2012 draft by the Seattle Mariners in the 4th round and was sent to Everett, Washington to play for the Everett AquaSox (Mariners short season A team). This is where I was introduced to Chris and the rest of the Viper Bats staff. They gave me some models to try out and I loved them and ordered some for the rest of the season. Our team was eliminated in the 1st round of playoffs and I was named the Northwest League MVP.
It has been a crazy year to say the least but I am excited to be playing baseball again and cannot wait for spring training to come in March. Right now I am just working out and hitting. Mostly working on my hitting because being out of the game for as long as I was there are tons of things I need to work on and get better at. I am looking forward to updating you guys on my off season as the weeks go on and sharing some more stories.
If any of you have any questions about baseball, my story, or even football (if we have any football guys reading) feel free to ask. I love talking sports especially baseball so don’t be afraid to ask!