Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review of The Prospect - baseball short story

With the end of July and the sports buzz is about baseball's trading deadline, it is only appropriate to finish the month with a baseball story.   This is a review of the short story titled "The Prospect."

“The Prospect” by Zack Drisko

Baseball, fiction, short story, Dodgers

May 9, 2012

19 pages

4 of 5 stars (very good)

The story of a young pitcher from a small town who makes a rapid rise to the major leagues, only to suffer a cruel fate while facing the second batter in his major league debut.   This short story is written just the way it should be – tight, not many wasted words, and the reader is quickly engrossed with Austin Colt, the young man whose journey to fame is swift.

The reader will also be feeling much of the elation, confusion and apprehension that any young adult would feel in Austin’s situation.  Do I sign the contract or go to college?   Will I be good enough to face professional hitters?   What will others think of me?   All of these issues are faced by Austin and the reader will be hanging onto every word to see what he will do next.

How Austin’s journey ends felt like a letdown, however. While the years fly by in the last few pages of the story, this isn’t to say the story ends badly or that the ending is poorly written.  Indeed, the reader will still have that connection to Austin and his inner struggles.  I just closed the book feeling like it was a reality check instead of a young man living out his dream.   I believe that was what the author was trying to relay to readers.  I just prefer a different type of story for this type of premise.  Nonetheless, it was still an enjoyable quick read that any baseball fan will enjoy.

Did I skim?

Did I feel connected to the characters?  
Yes.  Every kid who puts on a glove or swings a bat dreams of being a major league player and I was no different.  Through Austin’s story, I felt like I was living that dream.

Pace of the story: 
Quick. As expected in a short story, there wasn’t a lot of time to waste.  At times it felt too quick – much like how Austin was feeling during his rise to the majors.

The writer covered a lot of ground with knowledge of baseball strategy, pitching, contract negotiations with young prospects and even medical knowledge.   That is very impressive to put together in such a short package.

The only problem I had was the dash through the minor leagues was truly experienced.  In the story, his experience in Albuquerque, the AAA affiliate for the Dodgers, was a two sentence paragraph.  It felt like he was there not to play for the Isotopes, but instead just to be told by coaches he was going to the majors.  That was a big disconnect with the rest of the story.

Do I recommend? 
Yes, for any baseball fan

Book Format Read: 
Ebook (Kindle)

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