KIMT NEWS 3 SPORTS – As kids playing sports, we all have aspirations of making it to the big leagues someday. For Mason City native, Bryce Ball, that dream continues to become a reality. After a year in the minor leagues, he has found himself in the 60-man player pool for the Atlanta Braves.
“It’s been kind of a mixed emotion of things the past four months,” Ball said. “I’ve just been constantly working out, hitting, taking ground balls and stuff, and not knowing what’s going to be next so it’s been tough mentally for sure.”
Now, Ball can relax. He celebrated his birthday on Wednesday by getting back onto the baseball field and finding himself being added to the Braves 60-man roster.
He received the call after the news of Braves' first baseman, Freddie Freeman, testing positive for COVID-19 but says there have not been any conversations yet about him filling that position.
“My role is just to be active and be around some coaches, and get to work out and stuff like that.”
While Ball is still uncertain what the future may hold, his former baseball coach at NIACC, Travis Hergert (who now works for the Phillies), sees him as a great fit for the Atlanta lineup in the role of designated hitter.
“Obviously he’s got extreme power and I think for him just making that impact as the pure hitter that he is and he’s proven at several levels already in his first year of pro ball. I know he made an impact even in spring training so he knows what he needs to do and he’s definitely made for it,” Hergert said.
While Ball will continue to work tirelessly to prove to the Braves coaching staff that he is a good fit for the lineup, he says he realizes how fortunate he is to have made it to this point in his career.
“I’m just happy to be around all of these guys. It means a lot,” he said. “Obviously not everybody gets to do this and just to be a part of it is pretty special and it’s a blessing for sure.”