Chris Bostick hopes versatility lands him a spot on Pirates roster |
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Jerry DiPaola
The Pirates' Chris Bostick doubles for his first Major League hit during the ninth inning against the Cubs Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, at PNC Park.

He’s played baseball for four organizations and has manned six different positions – all but pitcher, catcher and first base.

How many gloves does he own? “A lot,” Chris Bostick said.

But Bostick said he’s willing to give first base a try if the Pirates need help there.

“I don’t know about catcher and pitcher,” he said.

Bostick was a four-sport performer (football, basketball, baseball and track) at Aquinas Institute in Rochester, N.Y., compiling a .510 batting average as a senior and leading the football team to a state title at wide receiver.

His road to the Pirates has been a circuitous one, starting in 2011 when he was drafted in the 44th round by the Oakland A’s. He signed with the A’s, anyway, even though St. John’s offered a baseball scholarship.

No matter. Bostick went on to earn an Associates degree in business from the University of Phoenix. Between baseball and business, he somehow found time to get married two months ago.

When Bostick was drafted, he saw it as “a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

He excelled academically in high school, and he admitted, “Most people expected me to go to school.”

But he knew he could go to college anytime.

“Baseball is not something you can do when you get to be 40-, 50-years old,” he said. “I didn’t want to take the chance of not getting (drafted) again.”

Besides, he didn’t believe he needed to attend college to grow up. “Which a lot of players do (need),” he said.

But he’ll be the first to tell you: His road to the majors is not for everyone.

“I would never do anything differently, but I would never advise anybody in the same situation to do what I did,” he said.

After he signed with the A’s, he joined the Arizona League Athletics and reached base safely in all 14 games and had at least one hit in 13.

He was traded to the Texas Rangers after the 2013 season and to the Washington Nationals a year later. The Pirates dealt for him in 2016.

He hit .294 in Indianapolis last year and was 8 for 27 when he was called up to the Pirates for 20 games.

Presently, he’s in contention for one of the Pirates’ last roster spots. His versatility is a plus. He was in center field Saturday against the Braves and at second base Sunday in Dunedin, Fla., against the Blue Jays.

He said he got “a taste” of the big leagues last year, so he doesn’t take this year’s roster quest lightly.

“You see a lot of people like me who are in and out of the game in a year or two years,” he said.

“There are only so many spots. You see how many lockers there are in here (LECOM Park). They have to cut (the roster) down by more than half before they leave.

“It’s hard to get there; it’s harder to stay.”

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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