“He’s a baseball player.”
Arizona State head coach Tracy Smith finds it pretty easy to characterize freshman infielder Carter Aldrete, who’s solidified his role in the lineup over the early course of the year in a variety of roles.
During Thursday’s 2-0 loss to No. 2 Oregon State, Aldrete made the shift from second base over to third mid-game—a demonstration of the former Monterey High School (Calif.) shortstop’s versatility. He made a couple of outstanding defensive plays during the contest, both while positioned at second and at third.
Carter wasting no time flashin' the leather against the Beavs. One out.https://t.co/cxp0WJVy9S— Sun Devil Baseball (@ASU_Baseball) March 17, 2017
“It doesn’t matter—you throw him at second, you put him at short, you put him at third,” Smith said. “He made some really nice plays, he’s just a baseball player.”
A term as finite as ‘just a baseball player’ wholesomely describes just the type of ballplayer Aldrete truly is—someone who comes in ready to step into any role to help the team win any way he can.
“We just come to ballpark every day willing to do anything,” said Aldrete. “If our name is on the lineup card, awesome. If it’s not, we’re still trying to help the team in any way we can. Anyway we can help. We’re just trying to win.”
Aldrete has found a way to break into the lineup early on in his Sun Devil career, starting in every game for ASU this year. He’s currently batting .254 for the campaign, including four doubles (second-most on team) and two home runs (tied for the team-high) on 17 hits (third-most on team) in 17 appearances.
When Smith was asked whether the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder is one of the more confident players on his squad, the third-year coach said that despite his youth, Aldrete is one of the most confident players on the team, adding that it’s apparent in the way he approaches the game on the field.
“When you watch him play, that’s a pretty easy answer,” Smith said. “The guy just plays baseball, and plays it well, and plays it at a high level. When you’ve got a skill set and you’re pretty confident, it comes off as pretty good presentation.”
And the presentation is enjoyable, not only for fans, but for himself, too.
“I like to have fun,” said Aldrete. “I like to think I have a little bit of swag, and I try to bring that to the field every day, and hopefully the fans can see it.”
The potential is obvious (he was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 37th round of the 2016 MLB Draft). His eagerness to adapt to any position he’s asked to play has made his assimilation into the team seamless.
“He’s a baseball player,” Smith said. “Baseball players make plays.”