PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Austin Bossart enjoyed an outstanding four-year career on the diamond at the University of Pennsylvania.
The catcher capped his career in 2015 by being named co-Ivy League Player of the Year. The Phillies took notice of his success and drafted Bossart in the 14th round in 2015. Since signing, Bossart has steadily climbed the minor-league ladder. This season, he has spent the entire season with the High Single-A Clearwater Threshers.
“Things are going pretty great down here,” Bossart tells KYW Newsradio. “I know we’ve got a great squad, great pitching staff, good hitters. Fun to be around this team.”
Bossart is hitting .222 in 29 games this season with a couple of home runs. But his biggest impact is coming on defense. Bossart has thrown out 48% of the runners that have tried to steal against him this season (20 of 42).
“Do take a lot of pride in that,” Bossart says. “That’s something that can help our team win ball games by shutting down the running game and not allowing them to get runners in scoring position early in ball games. I think that helps out the pitchers a lot. I just work on it every single day, work on getting quick transfers and getting a lower pop time every day.”
As you would expect for a catcher that is so good defensively, Bossart also really enjoys calling pitches behind the plate.
“It’s a ton of fun,” he says. “It really just brings a cerebral aspect to the game which I really enjoy.”
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He says being on point when calling pitches takes work before and during the game.
“I’d say it’s about 50-50 preparation and just knowing situations in a ball game,” he says. “You look at guys’ stats before the game, you look at video, you see what they’ve been doing the last ten games. You kind of go off that to kind of get a feel what type of hitter they are. But then, in game, if the report you had doesn’t match up with the swing they have, you’ve got to change it a little bit or (if) runners get on in scoring position, things change a little bit. So it’s a lot of fun to work in-game with those situations, too.”
Bossart and the Threshers welcome the Tampa Yankees to Clearwater tonight.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattleonKYW.