Bostick excited to be a Pirate

BOARDMAN — Chris Bostick, a Rochester, N.Y. native and the newest member of the Pittsburgh Pirates was in eastern Ohio on Friday as part of the Pirates annual CARE-A-Van event. It’s been four years since he’s been back to this part of the country.

Bostick, then a member of the Vermont Lake Monsters, was selected to the 2012 New York-Penn League All-Star Game at Eastwood Field in Niles. He had a .259 batting average that season with three home runs and 29 RBI.

“They treated us really well and made us feel special,” Bostick said, referring to the Trumbull County community and the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. “It was a while ago. It was the only all-star game that I’ve had the chance to be a part of. It was a lot of fun. Being a teenager back then, it was my first experience in pro ball. To have that kind of honor will always stick with me, I just hope to get some more honors as part of this team in the near future.”

He was acquired by the Pirates in September in exchange for pitcher Tyler Gushue.

“It’s nice to know that someone wants you,” said Bostick, 23. “I wasn’t too surprised because I’ve been a part of some trades before. When you’re in the minor leagues, anything can happen. There’s no guarantee that you’re going to make the majors. If you do make it, there’s a good chance it won’t be with the team that drafted you.

“I handled it well. I’m excited. Any time you go to a new organization it’s exciting because it gives you a chance to prove yourself all over again.”

Bostick is primarily a second baseman but can play most infield positions. Currently with the Pirates, Josh Harrison is the starting second baseman. He is backed up by youngsters Adam Frazier and Alen Hanson.

Bostick feels he belongs in the discussion for a spot on the Opening Day roster.

“Sometimes there’s a little bit of added pressure,” he said. “You just have to realize that you’re here for a reason. I’ll just play my game and do my thing. Hopefully, I can show that I can help the team.”

He’s already proving his worth by giving back. Bostick joined teammates John Jaso, Drew Hutchison and Felipe Rivero at the Dick’s Sporting Goods in Boardman to help children purchase new winter clothes.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Bostick said. “I definitely feel like a Pirate now. It’s cool to travel around and see new places and meet new people. It’s a great opportunity, especially because I’m new.

“Giving back is always a good thing. Especially around Christmas. It’s great to put a smile on some kids’ faces.”

Last season the Pirates finished with a record of 78-83, which was good enough for third place in the highly competitive National League Central Division. The mediocre campaign snapped a streak of three-consecutive playoff-bound seasons.

That fact isn’t lost among today’s professional players.

“That’s what gets lost when you’re a player who gets traded a lot,” said Bostick, who was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 2011. “It’s good to go to an organization where you already know that they’re going to compete. It’s a good organization from top to bottom.

“They’ve always been a really good team in a really good division. That’s kind of the Pirates’ way. You have to fight with the Cubs and the Cardinals. It’s definitely been fun to watch them from the outside. I’m sure it will be even more fun to help them win a division this year.”

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