You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Surging Mesoraco ready for big second season


Forget the phrase “sophomore slump” when it comes to Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco. If anything, the organization might well be expecting a sophomore surge. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for the former Pennsylvania high school player of the year.

Mesoraco has needed a longer learning curve at each level but has made a habit of showing noticeable improvement after getting acclimated to his surroundings.

After a rough year at Class A Sarasota in 2009, Mesoraco rebounded with big numbers in Lynchburg the following year. And although his first stint at Triple-A wasn’t memorable with Louisville, he followed that with an impressive campaign that saw him named an International League All-Star.

Last year, again, was a major struggle. Mesoraco hit .212 with the Reds and threw out less than one of every five runners who tried to steal. Making matters worse, he suffered a concussion in August, then was handed a two-game suspension for bumping an umpire.

But those counting out Mesoraco after last year’s rough go with the Reds beware: the former first-round pick is showing signs that he could be due to take yet another step.

“I think if you look back at some places it took a longer amount of time than others, but I’ve always had a little adjustment period,” Mesoraco said. “For me, it’s just a matter of feeling comfortable with my teammates, feeling comfortable with the level of competition. I realize I can do this, and then I go from there. And I do feel comfortable now.”

Heading into Saturday’s split-squad games, Mesoraco was leading the Reds in runs batted in this spring (10) and was in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak that pumped his batting average to .474.

And Mesoraco hasn’t just been better on offense. Last year, he struggled to handle the pitching staff, but manager Dusty Baker said he’s seen vast improvement in that area, too.

“He’s not only hitting the ball, he’s thrown well, he’s caught well. He’s really improved. Big time. He’s more confident. Devin, throughout his career, his second year at a level has always been better,” Baker said. “He wasn’t like Buster Posey, who went to college. He came out of high school. There’s a lot to learn, not only hitting, but catching, blocking, throwing, all kinds of stuff.”

Mesoraco now has plenty of experience with starters Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Homer Bailey and Bronson Arroyo, and that comfort level has translated to success in all aspects of his game. He’s hit a pair of home runs along with a pair of doubles, showing the kind of clout he displayed for Louisville in 2011 when he was fourth in the league in two-base hits.

“When you’re playing well, things happen a lot easier than when you’re struggling. For me, it’s all about defense. It always will be. That’s something I can do every day,” he said. “Hitting-wise you’re going to have tough days, you’re going to have some good days, but defensively you can be consistent, helping the pitchers out back there. That’s what I’m trying to do. I do feel defensively that’s where more strides have been made.”

Things have changed from a year ago, when many thought he might be ready for the everyday catching job. Expectations have eased, and Ryan Hanigan’s job as the starter has been cemented.

But Mesoraco is focused and should be ready if called upon. Although he’s still in a battle for the No. 2 catching post with Miguel Olivo, Mesoraco’s spring has put him in good position to retain the position.

“You’re only gonna get so many chances in this game. You need to take advantage. The game has a very short memory, and every chance I get I need to go out there like I’ve got to prove something today and do the best I can,” Mesoraco said.

“There’s always guys looking to take your job. I’m trying to stop that from happening.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Girls Basketball: McDavid scores 37 in Kenton Ridge win
Girls Basketball: McDavid scores 37 in Kenton Ridge win

Kenton Ridge’s girls basketball team is on the upswing as the regular season winds down and hopes to carry the momentum in the tournament. The Cougars ran away in the second half on Monday night to an 94-55 win over Greeneview in a nonconference game. It’s their fourth win in the last five games, and all of the victories have come by 20...
H.S. Results for 1/23/17: Fairborn girls win at the buzzer

Fairborn’s Evelyn Oktavec hit a shot from near midcourt as the final buzzer sounded Monday, giving the Skyhawks a 57-56 high school girls basketball victory over Chaminade Julienne. Oktavec scored a career-high 23 points for Fairborn, which has won four of its last six. Khala Powell added 16 for the Skyhawks, Kaylie Cook 9. Girls Basketball Badin...
Bengals player Adam Jones tells cop ‘I hope you die’
Bengals player Adam Jones tells cop ‘I hope you die’

Police on Monday released video from inside a police cruiser in which Cincinnati Bengals player Adam Jones goes on an expletive-filled rant following his arrest and tells the officer driver the cruiser ‘I hope you die.’ Jones, 33, was arrested Jan. 3 in downtown Cincinnati on charges of disorderly conduct and assault. He later was...
High School Boys Basketball Poll: Is your team ranked?
High School Boys Basketball Poll: Is your team ranked?

The top 10 teams in the Associated Press Ohio high school basketball poll with first-place votes in parentheses and won-loss record, total points and position last week at right: DIVISION I 1, Cin. Moeller (20) 15-0 200 2, Newark 14-0 162 3, Pickerington Cent. 13-1 140 4, Tol. St. Francis 13-1 128 5, Massillon Jackson 12-1 111 6, Wooster 13-0 85 7...
Atlanta Falcons fan bawls after big win against Green Bay
Atlanta Falcons fan bawls after big win against Green Bay

The Atlanta Falcons are heading to Super Bowl LI, and one super fan just couldn't contain his emotions after the win Sunday. Jonathan Tarantino was watching the game with friends in his Atlanta apartment Sunday and couldn't contain his emotions after the Falcons' win against the Green Bay Packers. The Falcons defeated the Packers 44-21, securing...
More Stories