Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Larsen Making Name For Self

First baseman looks to have a bright future. The 22-year-old former First Team Pac 10 Washington Huskie has been impressive with the Staten Island Yankees. Before going hitless in three at bats Tuesday night versus New Jersey, he entered the final regular season game hitting .317, tied for ninth in the New York Penn League and his 49 RBI's tied for fifth.

Signed by the Yanks this summer, he's made a smooth transition from college to pro ball. "There always is [transition] just cause you're using aluminum bats but one thing about the Pac-10, there's a lot of good players in that league," Larsen said. "Playing in that great league really helped."

Not too bad for a small town kid from Seattle, Washington who candidly observed, "I've been to the city a couple of times. It's definitely an experience. It's no Seattle. It's definitely a lot bigger, more people. It's been a great experience with the press and all the fans and everything."

Ironically, Larsen was originally selected by the crosstown rival Mets in the 14th round back in 2001. "It was an honor getting drafted out of high school but I wasn't ready to play pro ball," he said. "I wanted to go to college and get that experience and grow up; mature."

The first year player has helped lead Staten Island to the best record in the league at 51-23. "This team's been awesome all year and hopefully we can keep it up in the playoffs," he said.

Regarding the prospect of his first ever minor league postseason, Larsen noted, "It's going to be a real fun experience but luckily for us we get home field advantage playing in front of home fans."

With a busier schedule compared to playing weekends in college, Larsen hasn't had much free time. "It's been kind of a grind because you're not used to it," he said. "But it's a lot more fun because you're getting paid to play baseball everyday."

Though he grounded out with the bases loaded to end the game Tuesday, things are looking up for Larsen. "It's great," he added. "I'm glad I'm where I'm at."


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