SARASOTA, Fla. (WJZ) — Spring Training in Sarasota, Florida, is more than just fun in the sun. For a number of players, it’s a place to fight for a job, and the competition is underway at Orioles camp.
Austin Hays and his wife added to their family this year. The couple welcomed a baby boy to the world. Hays said he hopes to gain “daddy strength” as he fights for the starting job in center fielder.READ MORE: CDC Releases Highly Anticipated Guidance For People Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19
Hays is entering the sixth season of his pro career. He made his Major League debut four years ago, but injuries have kept him from being a constant contributor.READ MORE: President Joe Biden's Visit To Emergent BioSolutions' Baltimore Lab Canceled
When Hays is healthy, he appears to be a prototype Big League center fielder. He covers the ground and makes all the plays. At bat, he can serve as a lead-off hitter, plus has power.
Hays said he is ready and willing and feels more than able.MORE NEWS: COVID In Maryland: Hospitalizations Under 800 First Time Since November
“I think I’m an everyday outfielder in the Big Leagues,” Hays said. “Whether that’s at center field, left field, right field, I think I have the speed and the arm strength to play at any one of those three positions and I have the power to be able to be a corner outfielder but the speed to be a center fielder as well.”