The Major League career of former first baseman/outfielder Mark Hamilton consisted of 47 games with the Cardinals in 2010-11, a brief stint that netted Hamilton a World Series ring for his role in the Cards’ 2011 championship squad. After being released by the Braves in July 2014, Hamilton stuck to his vow to go to medical school if he wasn’t a big league regular by his 30th birthday, and ESPN.com’s Alden Gonzalez writes that Hamilton is set to officially begin his medical career in June at two New York hospitals “at the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.” Though Hamilton is trained in interventional radiology, the early days of his six-year residency program will inevitably be focused on helping treat coronavirus patients. While the pandemic has “been very eye-opening,” Hamilton said, “I wanted to go into medicine because I really enjoyed caring for people. I enjoy being able to help others when they’re in their darkest hour, when they need somebody to both support them from a medical side and an emotional side. And I’m definitely going to be able to do that in my first year.”
Some more from around baseball…
- Left-hander Ryan Feierabend signed with the Uni-President Lions of the Chinese Professional Baseball League during the offseason, so Feierabend his fellow CPBL peers have gotten their season underway in Taiwan while the rest of the baseball world is still on pause, The Toronto Star’s Gregor Chisholm writes. Since Taiwan quickly enacted measures against COVID-19, the outbreak has been severely limited on the island, thus allowing for businesses, schools, and other larger public gatherings to continue to operate, albeit under safety restrictions. CPBL games, for instance, are being played without fans in attendance. Given how matters seem to be somewhat under control in Taiwan, Feierabend said he “would feel more comfortable” if his wife and children were in Taiwan rather than in the United States, both for safety reasons and simply so the family could be together. “It’s a sacrifice being away…Having to deal with that while the pandemic is going on, it’s definitely stressful,” Feierabend said, praising his wife Sarah for being “the rock of our family.”
- Arizona State’s Spencer Torkelson would be the first pick of this year’s amateur draft if MLB.com’s Jim Callis held the reins in the Tigers’ front office. (Detroit has the first overall selection.) Callis is a fan of Torkelson’s power potential, calling him “one of the biggest impact college bats in recent years” and saying he might deliver seasons in the range of 35 homers and a .280 average on a regular basis in the majors. Vanderbilt outfielder/third baseman Austin Martin is a close second for Callis, and unsurprisingly, Torkelson and Martin also occupy the top two spots on MLB Pipeline’s list of the top 150 draft prospects.
- The Blue Jays have made mental performance a major aspect of their player development system at both the Major League and minor league levels, with eight-year MLB veteran John Lannan was hired as the newest member of the six-person mental performance department this past January. As The Athletic’s John Lott (subscription required) writes, Lannan went back to school to study sports psychology after retiring in August 2017, and realized the subject matter was instantly relatable to the modern player. “Once I was going into all these deep dives into sports psychology, it just brought to mind a lot of situations throughout my career, where it started to make sense why I might have felt the way I felt and what I could have probably done about it if I’d known more about the subject,” Lannan said. Lott outlines the Jays front office’s philosophy about the benefits of mental performance, and how the department’s role has now evolved with players stuck at home waiting out the pandemic.