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Waves Weekly

November 20, 2018 - New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) - Ocean State Waves News Release

Waves fans, welcome to week two of Waves Weekly. Before we begin this week's article we at the Ocean State Waves would like to thank everyone who came to our third annual brew tour at the Aqua Blue Hotel! With over two hundred guests we had a very successful turnout. Our president and general manager Eric Hirschbein-Bodnar would like to thank everyone who has a hand in helping put together this incredible evening, "I am very thankful for everyone who came out to support our organization. It is the people involved in our organization and our community that allows us to succeed on and off the field. I cannot thank you enough. From my family to yours, we're all one big Waves Family!" From award-winning IPA's from Whalers Brewing Company to pulled pork sandwiches from Eddie's BBQ would like to thank all of the following sponsors, Whalers Brewery, Greenvale Vineyards, FoolProof Brewery, Grey Sail Brewery, Revival Brewery, Newport Brewing Company, Narragansett Brewery, Ragged Island Brewery, Newport Vineyards, Taproot Brewery, Filippou's Twisted Pizza, Arturo Joe's, Georges of Galilee, Vittoria's Pizza, Eddie's BBQ, Phil's Main Street Grille, and 210 Oyster Bar. " We look forward to many more years of this awesome event and we hope to see you all again next year and on February 15th for our Black Tie Blue Jeans event at the Towers in Narragansett.

This week we are taking a look at two former Waves who are currently playing in the Boston Red Sox farm system and the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system, this year's World Series teams. 2016 Wave Grant Williams, from Kennesaw State and 2016, 2017 Wave Matt Cogen, from Belmont University. Williams, a 10th round pick of the Boston Red Sox spent his first professional season at the Short-Season Lowell Spinners. After a slow start to his first professional season, Williams posted a .265 average driving in 17 runs, walking 23 times and only striking out 16 times in 50 games. Williams also showed defensive versatility making starts at six starts at third base, eleven at shortstop, and primarily playing second base making 31 starts there. Cogen, a 30th round pick to the Dodgers was a critical part of the Wave 2017 success hitting .283 with a home run, 12 RBI's and an NECBL All-Star game start. Cogen spent his first professional season between Rookie Level Ogden Raptors and Class A (Full) Great Lakes Loons. Hitting .316 at the rookie-level Cogen was promoted to Class A to finish out his season where he had a pinch-hit RBI double to give the Loons the lead in during a game against the South Bend Cubs which put them into a playoff spot.

First, we start off with 2016, 2017 Wave Matt Cogen

What was your favorite part about your summer(s) with the Waves/ South county?

"My favorite part was probably my host family, the Da Cruz's, I was here for two years and they were great. All the guys I met while I was up here, and the organization as a whole, they really are a first-class organization."

What was your favorite memory from your time on the playing field for the Waves?

"Some of my favorite memories were probably the trip to Block Island, the All-Star, and being able to compete in the championship game was really cool even if it didn't end up how we wanted it too."

What was the toughest adjustment to professional baseball/real world?

"Probably the level of play that was there, it wasn't something I was used to coming from the college season."

Did using wooden bats in the NECBL change the way you hit rather than using metal bats?

"Yes, it prepared me a lot. My time up here was about the only time I had used wooden bats on a regular basis and it made it a lot more fun."

Did using wooden bats in your summer(s) with the Waves help the adjustment to MiLB

"Yes, it made the transition a whole lot easier"

Did you enjoy the beach area around Wakefield and Narragansett?

"Oh yeah, I loved being around the beach area. Being from Tennessee I had never really seen the beach only lakes and things like that."

What advice would have for this year's Waves players?

"My advice for this year's players would be to enjoy the season, it's much more of a grind and a lot different than pro ball. I would say to embrace the guys and really become apart of the team."

What was the most difficult part about being thrown straight into the grind that is a MiLB season?

"I would say the most difficult adjustment would be the traveling, you play pretty much six days a week and sometimes you'll play a night game get on a bus for eight hours just to have another game that afternoon."

What does it mean to you to say that you played for the Ocean State Waves?

"It was awesome, I wouldn't want to spend my summers anywhere else. I truly believe that the Waves are the best summer ball program in the whole country. It's the little things that they take care of really helps us out as baseball players."

What was the most fulfilling part of your time with the Waves?

"The most fulfilling time for me was making it to the All-Star game that was an awesome experience, also being able to develop more as a player and having a really good summer was huge for me."

Do you still have a relationship with your former host families?

"Of course, we're still Facebook friends and we keep in touch through there."

What was your favorite piece of Waves gear you received?

"Probably the Waves trucker hats, they were sick."

What are your goals for this MiLB season?

"To get better. I'm not sure where I'm going to start the year but I would like to end up being promoted at least one time during the year."

What are your workout goals for the offseason?

"I would like to gain ten to fifteen pounds of muscle and to drop some body fat. I'd also like to get in better conditioning shape for my legs so I'll be able to run faster."

What is your favorite song to workout to?

"Probably anything Kings of Leon, that's my go to."

Did anyone that you played with this year on the World Series roster?

"Yeah, we got to play with Pedro Baez and Julio Urias, they were with us for a little bit."

Since you both play for the Red Sox and Dodgers organizations, what does it mean to you to say that your teams are in the World Series?

"Well for me as a member in the Dodgers organization it's huge because it shows how invested the organization is in our player development and how successful the organization as a whole is."

What MLB players did you play with this year?

"When I went to instructional after my season had ended we would do some workouts with a lot of guys who were September call-ups and haven't quite made the playoff roster. We got to play against Matt Holliday from the Rockies as well. My roommate was actually good friends with him so we went out to lunch with him. I wasn't as starstruck as I thought I would be because he is such a down to earth guy, he even bought both of the teams a post-game meal."

Now for 2015 Wave, Grant Williams

What was your favorite part about your summer(s) with the Waves

"My favorite part about the Waves was the environment that was created around the team on and off the field. The host families were so kind (especially the Riley's who hosted me) and the atmosphere at the ballpark was very enjoyable."

What was your favorite memory from your time on the playing field for Waves

"My favorite memory from the Waves was going to Block Island as a team and having a fun off day with my teammates and coaches."

What was the toughest adjustment to professional baseball/real world?

"Getting used to not playing every day was the biggest adjustment I had to make. Going from an everyday player in college to a team full of the best players around made playing time in the beginning not consistent."

Did using wooden bats change the way you hit/pitched?

"Not at all, I actually have always preferred using wood over metal."

Did using wooden bats in your summer(s) with the Waves help the adjustment to MiLB

"Definitely. It's good to be able to go off in the summer and use a wood bat. Scouts are able to see how you make the adjustment and how you perform using wood bats."

Did you enjoy the beach area around Wakefield and Narragansett?

"Yes, besides the fee to get on the beach haha."

What advice would have for this year's Waves?

"Enjoy every second of it. There's always another player right behind you that they can get to take your spot. It's a great organization and it was a summer I never will forget."

What was the most difficult part about being thrown straight into the grind that is a MiLB season?

"Games every day with 1 off day every 15-18 days. It's truly a grind but I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it!"

What does it mean to you to say that you played for the Ocean State Waves?

"It's a huge honor to have been able to play for the Waves. Especially being nominated as the starting Shortstop in the All-Star game, I was proud to wear Waves across my chest."

What was the most fulfilling part of your time with the Waves?

"Creating relationships that still remain today. Many of the waves host families have kept in touch with me, as long as the coaches and my teammates. The organization shows life is not all about baseball and it helps create friendships that last."

Do you still have a relationship with your host family?

"Absolutely! I still talk with Kim and Bob Riley and they are loved by me and my family still to this day!"

What was your favorite piece of Waves gear you received

"Definitely the Hawaiian style SnapBack hat! I still rock it every now and then"

What are your goals for this MiLB season?

"I have a few goals for this season but my biggest goal is to develop my all-around game: Defensively, at the plate, and my baserunning."

What are your workout goals for the offseason?

"I want to get faster and stronger this offseason."

What is your favorite song to work out to?

"I don't really have a favorite song but I love upbeat Rap music to get my juices flowing during a workout."

Did anyone that you played with this year on the World Series roster?

"Yes, I played with Ian Kinsler, Blake Swihart, Rafael Devers, and Brandon Phillips all with the Lowell Spinners."

Since you both play for the Red Sox and Dodgers organizations, what does it mean to you to say that your teams are in the World Series? For you Grant, what does it mean to say that your organization are the World Series Champs?

"It means the world to have been drafted but to say I have been drafted by the World Champs is indescribable."

What MLB players did you play with this year?

"I played with Ian Kinsler, Blake Swihart, Rafael Devers, and Brandon Phillips all with the Lowell Spinners."

Thank you again to Grant Williams and Matt Cogen for taking the time out of their day to give back to the Waves. We look forward to continuing next week with Bobby Honeyman and David Real, both out of SUNY Stony Brook. Honeyman was a 29th round pick to the Seattle Mariners, and Real looks to earn his MBA as he is currently a graduate assistant coach at Division III Nichols College in Dudley, Ma.

For inquiries about hosting a player, sponsoring the organization or donating to our organization please email Eric at Eric@Oceanstatewaves.com.

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New England Collegiate Baseball League Stories from November 20, 2018


The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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