WEST PALM BEACH, FL (KXAN) — Life in the minor leagues is a grind.
“Some days you wake up after a 14-hour bus ride just in time to get some lunch in you before a game and you’re wondering, dang, is it really worth it,” Astros minor league second baseman Ryne Birk said.
But it’s the hope of one-day fulfilling a lifelong dream that helps players like Ryne Birk keep powering through.
“There’s some tough days that you’re debating what you’re doing, but then you see the long picture and it just doesn’t get much better than that,” Birk said.
For Josh Rojas, he got his first taste of life in the majors when he was invited to big league camp at the start of spring training before being sent back down to minor league camp.
“Just makes you work harder. When you’re that close, you wanna double check everything, you wanna work that much harder to shore up some things,” Rojas said.
“I think, you gotta stay with it, you gotta keep grinding. You’ve gotta keep playing. It’s a long road to get to the big leagues. And as hard as it feels to get here, it’s probably harder to stay,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.
That’s a lesson that Brady Rodgers has learned firsthand. He’s been in the minors since 2012, save for five games in 2016 when got his first taste of life in the show with Houston.
“That day was special. Not only for myself, but for my family. For them to see me grow up and accomplish my main goal was pretty special and always gives me goosebumps every time I think about it. It’s definitely a long road, but at the same time, it’s worth it in the end when you finally make it,” Rodgers said. “There’s no better place to play than the big leagues.”
That’s something every minor leaguer hopes learn first hand.