INDIANAPOLIS — He always had multiple months to forget during a season.
Christopher Bostick might have had a few good months here and there, but not the consistency he felt he was capable of showing.
Until last season. And it’s carried through into this season.
Bostick was the Indianapolis’ MVP last season, hitting .294 and making his major league debut with the Pirates, appearing in 20 games. He hit higher than .300 in three months last season and picked up where he left off by hitting .315 to open this season.
He had hit higher than .300 in a month just five times in his previous four seasons.
“I would label last year as just a year that modeled the consistency that I hoped to bring to the table my whole career,” Bostick said. “I was able to put together a year where there weren’t too many ups and downs. The ups and downs — every player is trying to level that out — the ups are great but the downs hurt, too.”
Now, success is breeding success. Bostick is comfortable, knowing he has shown the ability to put together a long streak of success.
Bostick is a cerebral player who remains level-headed throughout the ebbs and flows of a season. There are simple keys to his success: Bostick tries to learn from each experience, while working each day to improve himself in some small way and avoiding complacency.
“Success always has a way of breeding more success,” Bostick said. “It’s a comfort, almost like a been there, done that type of thing. I just try to take each experience I have to try to learn from that and every day try to make myself a little bit better. I try not to be complacent. Even though I had a good year last year there are still things I can work on to get better at.”
That success of last season has carried over into this year as Bostick continues to use his “stubborn” approach at the plate, working to get the pitches he wants to hit.
“What makes him good is his stubbornness — that’s what he does well and why you are seeing the consistency,” Indianapolis hitting coach Ryan Long said. “He hasn’t always done that. Looks like it but in talking to him he’s made those changes in the last couple of years and has learned. He has matured and had enough at-bats at this level to know what works for him.”
Bostick was used as a super utility player last year, making 33 starts at second base, six at third base, 38 in left field, 13 in center field and 34 in right field. But this season Bostick has been used just in left and center fields.
What future Bostick has with the Pirates is unclear. The organization is not using him in the super utility role as they did last season, despite not showing any glaring weaknesses at any position.
Bostick was in major league spring training camp this season, but admitted he didn’t like his chances of making the Pirates’ opening day roster. Going back to that cerebral aspect, Bostick knows there are a lot of aspects that go into the process of choosing the opening day roster such as players out of options along with a myriad of other attributes.
“I don’t want to say I knew I wasn’t going to make the team, but I had a pretty good idea (Indianapolis) is where I would start,” Bostick said. “It’s tough to think about that, but at the same time there’s a comfortability in that.”
Bostick’s best chance of making a major league roster on a long-term might be with another organization. He, along with most players at the Triple-A level, realize scouts are in attendance on most nights and if the Pirates don’t see him fitting into the long-term plans, Bostick might be used as a trade piece down the road.
Also, Bostick has been traded by three different organizations, so he realizes things can change quickly. But right now, he’s more than content.
“It’s an interesting game and I think I have a little bit of an understanding, probably more than a lot of guys here, because I’ve been in a couple of different places and I understand how that works,” Bostick said. “The grass isn’t always greener, so sometimes it’s hard to say I wish I was gone or I wish I was here. Everytime I go out there I realize there are scouts or whoever is writing down that this guy could be a good piece.”
Bostick has shown the ability to hit consistently and is a versatile, dependable defender. He’s not going to be a concern off the field as one of the most likely players to volunteer their time, while carrying a level-headed attitude in the clubhouse. If he can’t find a long-term spot with the Pirates, he could possibly find a home with another organization needing outfield depth.