Former Marlins shortstop Alex Gonzalez takes over at Sagemont and what to look for this high school baseball season
SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL |
FEB 13, 2021 AT 8:59 PM
If you’re a high school baseball player and a World Series hero instructs you how to handle an at-bat, you’re going to listen.
Sagemont baseball players will get that coaching this year, as former Florida Marlins shortstop Alex Gonzalez — who hit a game-winning home run off New York Yankees pitcher Jeff Weaver in Game 4 of the 2003 World Series — takes over as the team’s baseball coach.
“Knowing his history, where he used to play — he used to play in Venezuela and he used to play in the bigs, obviously, for 16 years — it’s pretty overwhelming when you really think about it,” sophomore pitcher Eric Vega said. “The things that he teaches us here is stuff that he’s done way before. He’s been in the World Series, one of the biggest stages in baseball, and knowing that and him giving us information on what to do is a blessing.”
Gonzalez, a 16-year MLB veteran, had been an assistant coach for the Lions since 2018, helping Sagemont win a pair of district titles and reach the state semifinals in 2019.
“I learned a lot from [former coach Armando Sierra],” Gonzalez said. “How to treat the young guys. I don’t want to [change] anything. I want to keep the same program.”
Gonzalez said he got into coaching because he wants to one day coach at the college or professional level, but he is invested in the Sagemont program.
“I didn’t come here to waste my time,” Gonzalez said. “I came here because I like it and I want to teach those guys how to play, how to play at the next level.”
Gonzalez played for World Series-winning managers such as Bobby Cox, Terry Francona, Jim Leyland, Jack McKeon, and he said that’s a big part of what he brings to the head coaching position.
“For many, many, many years, I learned a lot from different coaches and I picked something from each manager I played [for],” Gonzalez said.
Sagemont has a young team, with no seniors and only one junior, so Gonzalez will have a chance to mold the team the way he would like.
“Honestly, it’s really special because there’s a lot of things in this game that I still need to learn,” junior Favyan Suarez said. “He has a lot of experience, obviously, playing in the Major Leagues for a long time. So he really teaches us a lot that we need to learn for the future, and he really just tries to get us better.”
Feb. 16: Regular season starts; April 26: District tournaments begin; May 6: Regional quarterfinals for Class 5A-3A; May 7: Regional quarterfinals for Class 2A, 6A, 7A; regional semifinals for Class 1A; May 11: Regional semifinals for Class 5A-3A; regional finals for Class 1A; May 12: Regional semifinals for Class 2A, 6A, 7A; May 15: Regional finals for Class 2A, 6A, 7A; May 19: Regional finals, Class 5A-3A; May 19-May 26: State championships.