Intelligence and preparation are two of the qualities left-handed pitcher Eric Stults admired most about right-hander Greg Maddux when the two were teammates with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006 and 2008.
Eric Stults broke into the majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006 and was a teammate of future Baseball Hall of Famer Greg Maddux in 2006 and 2008. [/caption]Stults, the Middlebury resident and former Bethel College standout, was a Major League Baseball rookie with LA and debuted at the end of 2006.
Maddux, whose election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame with 97.2 perecent of the vote was announced Wednesday, Jan. 8, started his career with the Chicago Cubs, made his reputation with the Atlanta Braves and finished his playing days with the San Diego Padres - Stults's current employer - but was a Dodger in 2006 and 2008.
"I just watched him prepare for his outings," said Stults, now xx and heading into his eighth MLB season (he played in Japan in 2010). "He spent a lot of time watching video."
Maddux would study batters and his own delivery from several angles in order to gain some sort of edge on the opposition.
"The guys who are successful in any sport are the guys who tweak things," said Stults.Stults noticed the Maddux invested the time to pick up weaknesses in opponent's that he could exploit.
A jokester in the clubhouse, Maddux sat in the dugout on days he was not starting and watched every at-bat, every pitch.
"He was constantly trying to pick up things," said Stults.
These are things Stults has tried to incorporate into his game.
Stults, who reports to the Padres for spring training in Peoria, Ariz., in mid-February, has a career record of 27-26 with a 4.05 earned run average. In 2013, he went 11-13 with a 3.93 ERA.