Little Guys Go Big Time

07/15/2008 – Daily News Record

Written By Tim chapman Daily News Record An almost starry-eyed Mark Brooks got some inspirational reading in during Monday’s rain-delay at Memorial Stadium. The Harrisonburg second baseman stood silently in front of the stadium wall outside the home locker room, staring at the display of the former Turks who eventally made it to the majors. Two alumni in particular caught his attention – David Eckstein and Juan Pierre. "I can kind of relate to them," Brooks said after reading the player bios. "They’re the small guys with a little bit of speed, and those are the two guys that I watched often in the big leagues on TV." Eckstein, who played with the Turks in 1995 and ’96, stands 5-foot-7 and is currently with the Toronto Blue Jays. Pierre, currently with the Los Angeles Dodgers, is listed at 5-foot-11 and played with the Turks in 1997. The Turks’ roster puts Brooks at a generous 5-foot-11 and the Bethune-cookman senior thinks his chances are good as his Turks little-guy predecessors. "Statistically-wise those guys aren’t any better than I am." Brooks said. "But I think it’s just like the intangibles, the x-factor you know." Brooks is batting .228 (14-for-82) with a .333 on-base-percentage, to go with a .919 fielding percentage. Brooks believes the might have that ‘x-factor’ ability of Eckstein and Pierre and doesn’t feel under-estimated because of his size. "I think that (opponents) expect me to be fast, which I am," he said. Whether the pros underestimate him or not won’t be known until the draft next spring. "Making it to the big leagues is kind of like playing poker," Brooks said. "You kind of have to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right scout. You kind of just have to focus on the things you can control and then just let the rest handle itself."