|Matt Vierling, image- Jay Floyd
Phillies prospect Matt Vierling was among the minor leaguers that participated in this year's Florida Instructional League, which an annual series of exhibitions and training with team coaches.
While there, Vierling, an outfielder, got a chance to add first base to his skill set.
In two pro seasons in his career, the 5th round draft choice out of Notre Dame in 2018 sports a .263 average with 12 HR, 72 RBI and 29 stolen bases. He spent the 2019 campaign with Class A Advanced Clearwater and likely would have opened this year with Double-A Reading if the season had taken place.
Recently, I talked with Matt about his time at Instructs, trying first base, how his family has done in the face of the pandemic and more. Read ahead for that interview.
-What was your experience like at Instructs this year?
My experience at Instructs was a good one. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there getting back on the field. After being gone for about six months, it was refreshing and satisfying to finally get playing again.
-I know you got some time playing first base. Who got that in motion and who worked with you at adjusting to the new position?
That's true, I did work at first base. It was mostly my idea. I brought the idea up to Marty Malloy, who coached me my previous two seasons. So we decided that I could get some work over at 1st base during extra work. Shawn Williams, Marty Malloy, Andy Abad and Chris Truby all helped me learn the position, but Shawn Williams worked with me the most over there. I am not sure if I will (play there again), but I would love to get more work over there, as I feel like the more positions I can play can only help me.
-What has been the most important thing you learned in 2020?
Biggest thing I learned in 2020 is to not take anything for granted. I specifically mean baseball and health here. Being gone from the game and having it taken away from you sucks. But getting back out on the field made me realize how much I missed the competition and the camaraderie. And my family being healthy is a blessing and something I am especially grateful for as well.