SOUTH BEND — Baseball players who don’t get paid to play might spend a lot of time playing games and preparing to play them. There can be plenty of travel for high school, college and travel programs.
But it’s not like being a minor league ballplayer whose life revolves around the game. In the Class A Midwest League, teams typically get one day off per week — without rainouts or the All-Star Game break — and there are long pre-game workouts, day games after night games and long bus rides.
It can become a grind.
But don’t expect South Bend infielder Jason Vosler to bellyache about it.
“It can be a grind, but when you really step back and look at it, you’re playing baseball for a living,” Vosler said. “You can’t get much better than that. I don’t need to complain out there as far as the grind goes.”
Vosler (@Jvos22 on Twitter) is just getting started in his pro baseball journey. A graduate of Don Bosco Preparatory High School in New Jersey, he was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 16th round the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft out of Northeastern University in Boston and played 30 games at short-season Class A Boise last summer.
This spring, he finds himself playing all over the infield for South Bend. Vosler was a shortstop at Don Bosco Prep. At Northeastern, he was a second baseman as a freshman, third baseman as a sophomore, shortstop as a junior and split time between second and short as a senior.
“I feel comfortable at all of them,” Vosler said.
Vosler, 21, also finds comfort in playing next to 18-year-old Venezuelan Gleyber Torres, South Bend’s everyday shortstop and one of the top prospects in the Cubs organization.
“He’s something else,” Vosler said. “He’s doing an unbelievable job for us this year. You don’t even realize how young he is sometimes. You just watch him play and figure he’s 21, 22, 23. He is really mature.”
Vosler is also comfortable in the left-hand batter’s box, where he applies the organization’s approach of selective aggressiveness.
“When you get your pitch, they want you to crush it,” Vosler said. “I’m a hitter that’s able to drive the ball into the gap and hit some doubles.”
When he’s not absorbed with baseball, Vosler is a big sports fan. He likes to watch football and follow his favorite hockey team, the New Jersey Devils.
“They’re not very good this year,” former hockey player Vosler said.