San Diego Padres’ minor league outfielder Robbie Podorsky is a self-described gnat on gameday. He loves to play the game of baseball and brings his passion every day to the field. His teammates feed off his energy and enjoy having him on their side.
If you have ever been lucky enough to see Robbie Podorsky play baseball, it will make you smile.
He has a huge heart, and though he is not blessed with size, he plays way beyond his 5-foot-7 frame. The outfielder brings excitement to the game of baseball, and he also brings a ton of energy to the team. His teammates love him for that.
The 24-year-old has grinded his way through the system after being selected in the 25th round in 2017 out of McNee State in Louisiana. He recognizes that fact, and it is nothing new to him. “I have been undersized my entire life. I feel like it is second nature to grind stuff out. I always had to do more to prove myself,” Podorsky said with a smile. He is a very tough individual, and his size has a lot to do with it. “I got ears. I hear what people say. It has been parents growing up. It’s been coaches I have played against. I have heard- who’s this kid, he doesn’t belong out here,” Podorsky said still grinning. He enjoys proving people wrong, and that is what truly motivates him in the game of baseball.
Curious about what makes Podorsky tick, we talked about motivation and what keeps him going in the long grind of a season. “I have played the game since I could walk. My dad (offered a part-time scholarship at LSU) loved the game. He was a really smart baseball player. I am really just learning from him. Baseball is one of the hardest sports as you fail 70 percent of the time and you are good,” Podorsky said. He learned the love he has for the sport of baseball from his dad and that guides him on these long bus rides and such.
Podorsky is very conscious of who he is as a ballplayer. “I like to think of myself as scrappy. Or like a gnat,” Podosrsky said with a mischevious smile. He uses his speed to change the outcome of games and puts his plus running skills in the minds of his opponents continuously. “Putting pressure on the other team. That is my job,” Podorsky stated. The game is fast-paced, and Podorsky only intensifies the speed angle with the way he continually hustles.
In speaking about his approach at the plate, Podorsky is honest and upfront. “I try to be as simple as I can. I don’t have a big leg kick. I keep it as simple as I can, and I hunt fastballs,” Podorsky said. Walks are not a huge weapon for the speedster, and he is trying to resolve that. “I would say my strike zone expands a little too much with two strikes. I am really good at battling pitchers, but I think my eye has to get a little bit better. I have to start taking a few more borderline pitches. That will increase my walk rate,” Podorsky tells EVT. He realizes that he could get on base more with a little more patience. The adjustments are being made.
Bunting is a lost art in the game of baseball, and so is the straight steal. The outfielder is looking to bring it back into the game. “It’s not really part of the game anymore. But I think the game will revert to it eventually,” Podorsky says. The game of baseball is circular and usually gets back to trends of the past. Speed is a huge part of Podorsky’s game, and so is the stolen base. He tries to affect each game with what he brings to the team. “Having that threat is a bonus. Not everyone can do it. It is about more than being fast though. It’s about timing,” Podorsky said.
Having energy every day is not easy to attain for the Louisiana native. “Sometimes it takes a couple of cups of coffee,” Podorsky said with a giggle. “I think that energy is contagious. The vibes you give off, and other players give off. The negative energy. Somebody talking bad about their teammates is not good. That’s cancer,” Podorsky informed EVT. He is dead serious about negative energy and how he does not want that to be on any team he plays on. He works his tail off every day and will not let a few bad apples ruin the whole bunch. “If I can bring this hyper mentality and positive energy, I think that is going to rub off on our entire team. If we all play at that high level, nobody is going to be able to handle us,” Podorsky said.
His goals are very simple. The right-handed hitter knows what he wants to achieve in the game. “Every time I get on first base, my goal is to get to second base. And my goal is to score and to help our team win. That’s my goal every day. To bring that energy,” Podorsky said with an intense look.
In the spring Robbie got some playing time with the big leaguers in Peoria. “That was so humbling. The first day I got to meet these guys, they had me baserunning in a backfield game. Just hanging out with those guys was fun. They are such good people. To me, that all one thing we all need to work on- being a better person,” Said Podorsky. The outfielder is ahead of the game when it comes to being a team player. With a little luck and more hard work, Robbie Podorsky should very well make it to the big leagues one day. He just has that aura about him.