Diamondbacks front office, clubhouse filled with new faces
PHOENIX — In baseball, players don’t always reach the major leagues with the team that drafted them.
“This game is full of surprises, you got to be prepared for everything,” said Diamondbacks pitcher Matt Koch, a local example.
The Diamondbacks acquired Koch from the Met’s farm system in a 2015 trade. He has teammates who also came from elsewhere. Shortstop Jack Reinheimer came from Seattle Mariners’ system, and pitcher Anthony Banda from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Banda doesn’t mind.
“Not just with the D-backs, but with any organization, and not just with baseball, but with anything, if somebody’s coming after you, you’re going to feel wanted, feel like you mean something to them,” Banda, 23, said at a recent Diamondbacks event at a youth recreation center. “I’ve taken every opportunity and ran with it, and the D-backs gave me every opportunity. For that, I’m really thankful for them and what they’ve helped me accomplish.”
If there’s anything the trio has learned in its time with the team, it’s that the clubhouse is all about forming a brotherhood.
“As a whole, I think I’ve gotten better,” said Koch, 26. “There’s room to improve on in every aspect of the game and in life and being a leader, clubhouse guy, and a friend, I mean it’s just constant improvements all around.”
As if newness wasn’t already a familiar feeling, they’re now playing for a different front office than the one that traded for them. Since the end of last season, the Diamondbacks have hired a new general manager, Mike Hazen, and a new manager, Torey Lovullo.
“I think it’s all positive. We have nothing but a great front office and a great coaching staff, it’s something that’s going to happen throughout not only my career but through others. We just have to learn to adapt and keep moving forward,” Banda said.
Koch said: “It’s going to be a good thing. I think we’ve put some new guys in place that are really going to help out. We’ll see how it goes, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Koch, Banda and Reinheimer got to do some more bonding on Jan. 19 when they and other Diamondbacks prospects visited the MLB All-Star Arizona Diamondbacks Boys and Girls Club in Phoenix. They interacted with more than 140 kids.
“This brings guys together, there’s 10 to 12 of us here and it’s good team bonding,” said Reinheimer, 24.
In addition to creating a connection between the players, it gave the newcomers a feel for the Diamondbacks’ involvement with the community.
“The organization loves helping out in the community and loves getting out,” Koch said.
The players seemed almost to be having more fun than the kids themselves. They joined the youngsters for basketball, table tennis, pool and even dodgeball.
The players also helped the kids with homework.
“We love giving back to the community, especially the Boys and Girls Clubs and anybody that’s in need of a smile,” Banda said.