Top 100 Baseball Blog

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Catching Up With Former Boston Red Sox First-Round Pick Rick Asadoorian

Drafted in the first round by the Boston Red Sox in 1999, Worcester, Massachusetts high school outfielder Rick Asadoorian was ecstatic to go to his home team. A multi-tooled right-handed player, his future was bright as he entered his professional career. He was so young and his future lay before him like an unpainted canvas.

Although Asadoorian never made it the major leagues, he did play 12 seasons professionally. He was not only an accomplished outfielder, who in particular excelled in the field, he also became a successful relief pitcher over the latter half of his playing time after it was discovered his powerful outfield arm could dial up a fastball.

He has now moved on to his post-playing career but still remains close to the game he has enjoyed his entire life. Keep reading for Rick’s memories of his career and updates about what he is doing today.

Rick Asadoorian Interview

Who was your favorite player when you were growing up, and why?: I did not really have a favorite single player. I liked so many players all around the league but nothing compared to any player on the Red Sox. Every player in Boston was so special to me. I remember going to a game and seeing Andre Dawson throwing in between innings in the outfield and was amazed by how the ball came out of his hand. Just a few players I remember were Oil Can Boyd, Dwight Evans, Tim Naehring, Scott Cooper, Jack Clark.  I was always Jack Clark when playing wiffle ball home run derby in my back yard with friends. I loved his simple swing and how he destroyed balls.

Can you describe your draft experience with the Boston Red Sox in 1999- How did you find out you had been selected?: I was on a class trip for our senior week at High Meadows in Connecticut. My cousin loaned me his pager so I would know exactly when I was selected. Cell phones were just starting to really come out so I had to rely on a pager. When the draft started, I think 1 pm, myself and all of my classmates were sitting together around the pool area with all the other schools in attendance. Somewhere around 1:30 the buzzer on the pager went off and it read “Red Sox #17 call home.” I looked over to a friend of mine and told him I was just drafted by the Sox and once they announced it over the loud speaker the whole place cheered. It was pretty damn cool.

What do you remember most about your professional debut?: My pro debut was nothing spectacular, Since I signed late I had to wait until Instructional League to play in games. I think I played right field and didn't do anything at the plate. I think I made a diving catch though. My second game I went 4-for-5 with 3 doubles. Let’s call that one my debut. Hahhaha

In your opinion, who was the most talented player you ever played with or against? What made them stand out so much?: Without a doubt the most talented player was Josh Hamilton. I remember going to national showcases and he and I were always two of the best outfielders. My best tools were probably my arm and defense. I had so much confidence in my throwing ability I felt as though there was none better. I felt that until I threw next to Josh Hamilton. He was a step above where I was and no matter what I did I could not throw better. He was a special talent.

What is your favorite moment from your baseball career?: My favorite moment was probably winning the State Championship in high school with all of my friends. We lost two years in a row and finally won our senior year. We had special group and we are all still very close friends.

How did you decide to add pitching to your repertoire so far into your pro career?: It happened randomly. There was an extra inning game where our team (Chattanooga Lookouts) was playing in West Tennessee. The Futures Game was going on the next day so our bullpen had to pick up our starting pitcher Homer Bailey, who was pitching in the Futures Game. The extra innings caused us to use almost everyone and our manager was asking if any position guys could throw. I said I would and went out there for two innings. Topped out at 95 and struck out five out of six. We ended up winning and I opened some eyes and some ideas from the club. I welcomed it and would do it all over again.

If there is anything you could go back and do differently about your baseball career, what would that be?: I would pay closer attention to how successful players go about their business. The mental aspect of the game was my biggest struggle. Talent was never an issue for me but learning how to play every day mentally and approaching the game in a different way could have helped me. Also, I would have surrounded myself with the correct people. I made a huge mistake with my agent choice when my agents split and learned about that business the hard way. I now work with the guy I should have been with because of his dedication and genuine caring about his clients. The person I stayed with was nowhere to be found when I needed him most. Now I vowed I would help educate and provide solid representation for those players going through the process as I have.

How difficult/easy is life as a minor leaguers?: Life as a Minor leaguer is difficult. The hardest part is always being away from home; away from family, friends and loved ones. You miss so much and sacrifice many things because of the life. I was very fortunate to have received a big signing bonus, which definitely helps during the season and mostly in the off season. Preparing for this life was something I did when I was young. I always wanted to play baseball and it was always in front of anything else in my life. That is the way it has to be for anyone to have a chance. Baseball has to trump all. 

What are you up to since retiring as a player?: Currently, I live in Orlando with my wife Devon and newborn baby boy Parker. I am still involved with baseball here Coaching private lessons and helping in the Doctor Phillips Little League with other Former Pros as part of a group called Pro4mer James Parr is a former MLB Pitcher with the Braves and he and I have worked well together helping develop kids ages 6 and up. I also work with Jamie Murphy of TWC sports. Jamie was my agent at one point in my career and is one of the best in the business. He has all the intangibles an agent should have when representing a player. I have aligned myself with Jamie to help the next generation of players through their careers. I wish I had someone on my side who could help me both on and off the field. Most agents cannot get on the field and actually help players with their game. By joining Jamie we can provide a full service to all our clients. It has become my passion to help players of all ages get better and take their games to the next level.

You can check me out on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @historianandrew

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