Phuture Phillies recently got a chance to sit down with the Threshers slugging third baseman Cody Overbeck to talk with him about baseball and life. Overbeck was drafted in the ninth round of the 2008 draft out of Ole Miss after his Junior season and finished the summer of that year in Williamsport where he hit .272 and set a team record for RBIs in a season. In 2009 Cody skipped over Lakewood going to high-A Clearwater where he had an off season hitting just .230, but at Clearwater again for a second season in 2010 he has gotten off to a red hot start. We wanted to know what he thought about his season so far, how he got here today, and where he hoped to be at the end of the year.
PP: Growing up in Tennessee what was you favorite baseball team?
CO: I was originally born in southern Illinois a little more than an hour from St. Louis so everyone I knew were Cardinals fans.
PP: Who were some of your favorite players as a kid?
CO: I really liked Ozzie Smith and then later became a fan of Mark McGuire.
PP: What was it like to be drafted by the Phillies when you were taken in 2008?
CO: I didn’t think too much about being picked by any particular team going into the draft, I was just happy to get the chance to keep playing baseball and see what I could do.
PP: In 2008 you played your first season at Williamsport where you set a team record for RBIs. You had played a full college season, then all summer with the Phillies. What was that first season like?
CO: It was tough. I had a long year and then I played in the FIL (Florida Instructional League) after the season, so I didn’t get done playing baseball until the middle of October.
PP: In 2009 you skipped Lakewood and came straight to Clearwater. You played in 96 games and hit .230 with the team having a record of 67-69. How did you feel at the end of the season about how the year had gone for you?
CO: I didn’t feel good about it, I had a bad year. I don’t want to make excuses for why I did so poorly, but I had a nagging groin injury most of the year and no one here could really figure out what was going on.
PP: What did you do during the offseason last year to come back so strong this year then?
CO: I went to see my college trainer at Ole Miss during the offseason, and he knew right away what my injury was because he had seen it in another player just the year before. I had an athletic pubalgia which is kind of like a hernia. I had surgery for that back in December and I felt a lot better both physically and mentally coming into this season.
PP: What goals did you set for yourself for the 2010 season?
CO: My goal this year and every year is just to come out and do the best I can. Everyone thinks about making the all-star team or getting to double A, but those are things that I have no control over. All I can do is come out and play baseball and stay focused. If I do my best then hopefully those other things will follow, but I don’t let myself be obsessed by what does or doesn’t happen.
PP: Dusty Wathan took the Blueclaws to a League Championship last year, and many of your teammates this year were on that Lakewood squad. Is one of the team’s goals this season to repeat that in Clearwater?
CO: I don’t really think that is a stated goal, but of course we want to win. It makes it a lot more fun coming to the ballpark every day.
PP: Would it be more fulfilling for you to end the season with Clearwater and win a league championship or to move up to Reading before the season is over?
CO: I would like to get to Reading and see what I can do, but again that is out of my control. I really enjoy being around this group of guys. We have a fun team this year, so if I could stay here and win a championship with these guys or just to have a good year with this group of guys would be a lot of fun.
PP: I know playing in Florida in the summers has got to be tough. What is it like for you as a player?
CO: It’s tough, but you kind of just get used to it. The day games are the worst, and we seem to have a lot more of those this year than we had last year. The crowds are smaller, so you kind of get used to just going out and playing, but on nights when we get a good crowd it definitely makes it more fun to have the crowd behind you, especially when you’re playing in a close game.
As of the time I got to sit down and talk with Cody he leads the Florida State League and AVG., Doubles, HR, Total Bases, SLG., OPS and the team is solidly in first place with a record of 23-12 on the season. Cody is just one of many bright spots on a very talented Clearwater squad this season, and a super down to earth kid. We wish him and the rest of the team continued success.