09/25/2007 9:07 AM -
By Matt Cobbs
Brad Correll had an idea of what California would be like. He had ambitions to do well in his time there.
As it turned out, Lancaster, Calif., was not the picturesque, Hollywood-like locale the former Limestone slugger was expecting. But it sure proved to be an ideal place to play baseball.
"It was my first time in California, and it wasn't what I expected," Correll said laughing. "I get out there and it's all desert. I was expecting blondes and palm trees. There was nothing to do (in Lancaster) except play baseball.
"So maybe that was a good thing."
The Boston Red Sox organization purchased Correll's contract from the Kansas City T-Bones of the independent Northern League in June and assigned him to their Single-A affiliate in Lancaster.
And to say Correll thrived in his new surroundings would be an understatement.
In 59 games played, he hit .344 with 23 home runs, 13 doubles and 80 RBIs. He was twice named the California League player of the week.
On June 23, Correll hit four homers and drove in eight in the JetHawks' 16-4 rout of High Desert.
"I really think playing some independent ball re-energized me," said Correll, who hit .333 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 24 games with the T-Bones. "It was kind of cool. You got out there, do your own thing and wait to get picked up."
So after thriving in his short stint in Kansas City, the Red Sox organization picked Correll up and he went west and "stayed hot."
"I don't really have one thing to explain (the hot hitting). Just being re-energized and being picked up I guess," he said. "A lot of stuff clicked for me. I'd seen it happen to a couple guys before. All of a sudden you go out there and it all clicks."
Correll was slightly surprised he didn't get a promotion within Boston's system or possibly even a call-up to the big club, as the Red Sox have struggled offensively most of the season and certainly had openings in the outfield.
"They called up some younger guys that didn't have the experience," Correll said. "I have (more) experience and am a different kind of hitter. So I was kind of hoping something would happen, but I don't know what's going on."
Correll actually started this season in spring training with the Florida Marlins but was told they didn't have a spot. He'd love to earn one next spring with Boston.
Lancaster's season concluded Sept. 11 with a 14-7 loss to Lake Elsinore in the California League South Division championship series.
"My goal is not to be a minor-leaguer," he said. "I'll go back home, do some deer hunting, work on baseball and see what comes in October. I just have to hope for the best."