Corbin Carroll’s parents always told him to “enjoy the moment.”
Whether that moment was in a single at-bat or over a short-lived promotion, he made sure to take his parents’ advice.
Carroll suffered a left-shoulder injury Saturday night, nine games into his time with the Hillsboro (Oregon) Hops. He concluded his promotion to Class A short-season Hillsboro with a batting average of .324 and OPS of .954. He had five extra-base hits in 34 at-bats.
It was a fast start for the Seattle native who was promoted from the Arizona League Diamondbacks on Aug. 8, just a month and a half into his professional career. The injury, which the team said isn’t believed to be serious, led to his return to Arizona on Sunday night.
“It feels good being able to play in the Northwest League my first year,” Carroll said last week in Everett during a three-game series between the Hops and AquaSox. “That’s something that I’m not taking lightly and something I’m very proud of.”
After getting selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the No. 16 overall pick in June’s draft, Carroll played 30 games in the rookie league, batting .291 with 14 RBI and two home runs, earning a promotion to the Hops.
“As a manager, it means a lot to have this type of player,” Hops manager Javier Colina said. “He’s so special. He’s so talented. He doesn’t look like he’s 18 years old from how good he looks now and how good he’s going to be in the next two to three years.”
The promotion came with a trip home for Carroll when the Hops traveled to Everett to face the AquaSox. Pey-Lin, Carroll’s mother, organized the welcome-home party with about 50 seats at Funko Field for the Aug. 11 game. It wasn’t until Carroll’s name was first announced on the speakers that she realized just how many people were there to cheer on her son.
“Having the collective home crowd, who are traditionally Mariners fans, cheering for the Hillsboro Hops, which is a D-Backs team, I see that as a win-win,” she said. “When he stepped up to bat and his name was announced the cheering by all our friends and family and those who we didn’t know who were cheering for him, that felt so good as a mom and as a parent.”
Carroll took a moment to soak up the cheers from family and close friends.
“It was just something I had never really experienced before,” Carroll said. “That was probably the most fun I’ve ever had playing baseball.”
In his short time in professional career, Carroll began to adjust to the rigors of pro baseball.
“The biggest challenge is the playing-every-day piece,” he said. “I trained hard to be able to go out there every day, because I knew that would be a big piece and that’s the advice I got from everyone.”
And he made an impression despite playing just nine games in the Northwest League.
“He takes every single at-bat serious,” Colina said. “He’s just so patient and takes every day like it’s his last day of his career. He’s trying to get so much out of it every single day. He’s one of those kids, where you don’t need to tell him what to do because of the way he acts, the way he prepares himself to compete, it’s outstanding.”