Kellen Sweeney hasn’t been this relaxed around a baseball field in a long time. A rash of injuries the past few seasons have slowed the progress of the Blue Jays’ second base prospect and, just as importantly, burdened his mind. After dealing with Tommy John surgery in 2009 and a broken bone in his hand two years ago, Sweeneycarries a renewed sense of optimism here at the Bobby Mattick Training Center, as well as a relaxed mentality that comes with clean slate health-wise. “Last year, I dwelled on stuff too much and this year I am trying to just take it day by day and at bat by at bat,” says the amiable 21-year-old from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “The game has a lot of mental parts and I need to work on that.” While pitching in high school during a substate final game in 2009 against Marshalltown, Sweeney felt a pain in his arm. “I was throwing the hardest I’ve ever thrown before and there was a little zinger through my arm,” said Sweeney. “I threw the next pitch, got out of the inning, and I was like: ‘Coach, I can’t do anything anymore’.” It still gives Jefferson coach Mike Kuba a queasy feeling. “That’s a game I will never forget,” Kuba says. “And it’s just a sickening feeling as a coach.” The injury resulted in Tommy John surgery and a seven-month layoff for Sweeney, who was heading into his draft year.
Jays' prospect Sweeney back on track
Toronto Sun | Mar 11