After spring training in Arizona, Phil Pohl said he finds Wisconsin to be a lot like home.
“It reminds me of Cooperstown,” Pohl said hours before the home opener for his Class A team, the Beloit (Wis.) Snappers. “It’s a little chilly up here playing baseball right now. It is quite a change from Arizona where it was in the 80s or 90s every day. But it is nothing that I haven’t played in before.”
Pohl, a 2008 Cooperstown Central School and 2012 Clemson University graduate, just completed his first professional spring training after being drafted by the Oakland A’s in the 28th round last June. Pohl worked in the minor-league camp, but he also spent two days being used as a warm-up catcher for batting practice before two A’s exhibition games.
“That was a great feeling,” Pohl said. “It feels great anyway, but then to be able to go over there and be on the same field as the major league team that was incredible.
“The first game was against the Angels, so you had Mike Trout and Albert Pujols standing over there,” he continued. “Then to sit in the bullpen the whole game and listen to the big league pitchers talk about the game, that was a learning experience.”
Pohl said that his intention had been to make a full-season team, which he accomplished with the Snappers.
“I wanted to be with a full-season team, and that is what Beloit is,” he said. “We’ve got two catchers with Bruce Maxwell and I, so if one of us is catching, the other one is warming up or doing batting practice. It is pretty busy, but that’s what I expected.
“I can’t complain. It is a lot of work, but it is a really great job to have,” Pohl said.