Sitting in a Comfort Suites after going 0-1 with a sacrifice fly in a loss, Conor Bierfeldt was very excited. Maybe it was because the sun is out in Sarasota and snow remains in Torrington, or maybe it’s because he is living out his dream.
“It’s pretty cool, I don’t know if it’s sitting around for four to five months, some people say it gets boring, but right now I’m living in the moment. I’m playing baseball with the guys,” said Bierfeldt, a 2009 Torrington graduate.
“It makes it a lot easier when it’s 12 (degrees) at home and 75 here,” he laughed.
Despite one professional season under his belt, Bierfeldt is going thought his first spring training experience.
After being drafted in the 29th round of last summer’s MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles, Bierfeldt packed his bags and went down to the Orioles facility in Sarasota, Fla.
He would spend only a couple of days there, taking a physical, practicing with the team then off to Aberdeen to play with the Low-A IronBirds of the New York Penn League for the rest of the season.
Bierfeldt would make the most of his first professional season, finishing second in the Penn League with 12 home runs, one behind the leader Zach Green who had 49 more plate appearances then Bierfeldt, and tied for eighth with 36 RBI.
“It’s different, being around spring training, it’s a lot more structured,” Bierfeldt said. “Everything is set minute by minute, you’re supposed to be lifting or conditioning.”
That includes getting up every day at 6:30 a.m.
“A lot of people think that waking up at 6:30 a.m. sucks,” Bierfeldt said. “I don’t mind, I get to play baseball with my friends, it’s fun.”
Bierfeldt is in minor league camp with the Orioles, so he hasn’t been practicing with any of the major league players, but he still has seen a few important people within the organization.
“Phil Niekro was down here,” Bierfeldt said. “Buck (Showalter) was down here to see us on an off day.”
Showalter made the news earlier during spring training when he demanded a report from a minor league prospect, Josh Hart, who didn’t know who Hall-of-Fame player and Orioles great Frank Robinson was.
“Yeah he played in Aberdeen at the end of last season, he got a lot of crap in the clubhouse for it,” Bierfeldt laughed.
Robinson played 21 years in the MLB for hitting 586 career home runs and was the first player in MLB history to win the MVP in both the American and National League. Bierfeldt knows all of this.
“My dad (Jim Bierfeldt) quizzed me on my ride back from my workout at Camden Yards, before the draft,” Bierfeldt said.
“Jack McCarthy (family friend) gave me a Frank Robinson bobblehead before I left last year.”
So far this spring the minor league camp has only played four games and Bierfeldt had hit well in them so far, going 3-for-7, with two doubles and a home run.
He hopes that when spring training ends he will be headed to the Class A Delmarva Shorebirds in Salisbury, Md., but he hasn’t been told anything yet.
“I haven’t had my meeting with the minor league coordinator yet, it’s TBA, there are so many guys down here,” he said. “I’d really like to go up North to Delmarva.”