Brian Peacock is a rare Duck. Like the Mets' Bartolo Colon, he's part of a Montreal Expos alumni club that will soon be extinct. Peacock, a 29-year old catcher, was selected in the 39th round of the 2004 MLB draft by the Expos, who would move to Washington the following year.
Only four remaining active players, including Colon, played for Montreal. By 2005, when Peacock made his organized-ball debut, the Expos had moved to D.C. But he can still say he was property of the Expos.
After six seasons in the Nationals' system, he played Double-A and Triple-A ball in the Reds organization. But "things didn't work out" with the Reds, Peacock said, and he sat out the 2013 season.
He signed with the Ducks on April 3. Through his first 10 games, Peacock was hitting .265 with two doubles in 34 at-bats.
To this point, you have played your entire career in affiliated baseball. How does the Atlantic League compare to your time in the Reds and Nationals organizations?
They're some differences, but it's still the same game. I try not to treat it as anything less than I would in affiliated ball. I'm just going out there trying to do the best I can to help the team win . . . But, the biggest (difference) is the umpires.
In what way are the umpires different?
Their strike zone is very erratic. It's not as consistent as AA or AAA umpires . . . It's a lot larger . . . (In AA and AAA), you don't have to as aggressive and worried about strikes and balls being called.
When you walked into Ducks camp last month, as a catcher, what was the first thing you did to try and acclimate yourself with the pitching staff?
The first thing was trying to catch all the pitchers. That's one of the biggest things, knowing their personalities, how they like to pitch, knowing the pitches they throw and when they like to throw them. I wanted to get to know that pitching staff and make sure they're comfortable throwing to me.
After missing last season, is playing everyday something you have to get used to again?
Some things are taking some time. Hitting wise, getting the timing down, seeing live pitching again, and getting my swing back has been the toughest thing. I haven't really felt that great at the plate yet.
But you did hit in six of your first eight games. What are you doing right at the plate?
I'm trying not to do too much, just seeing the ball and trying to put a good swing on it, just keeping it simple. The game is hard enough. You have to be clear minded up there at the plate, try to get a good pitch, and hit it.
Sunday: Camden Riversharks at Ducks, 1:35 p.m. Carle Place High School pitcher Mike Delio will throw out the first pitch.