I've been enjoying my time with the Pirates this month. Of course I was excited to get called up for the first time, but it's been the same game since Little League, it's just on a bigger stage now. I have the same mind-set -- just play hard and have fun.
I've worked on everything the last few years to get this chance. And this offseason, I'm going to play winter ball in the Arizona Fall League. I'm going to keep working on all facets of my game by playing there every day. I'd definitely like to work on the mental aspect of the game. My goal is to be the Pirates' everyday center fielder next year.
I never was a big prospect in the Minors. It was hard work that got me here. I never doubted myself though, because I knew I had the skills and I had confidence in myself. I knew eventually I was going to get here. Hard work pays off. It's all about hard work, that's what got me to the Majors.
Being with Pittsburgh has been a learning experience. I'm learning about different pitchers and hitters. It's a challenge because I don't know anybody except from watching them on TV. That actually helps with some guys though, because you watch guys over the years, hitters especially, and you learn their tendencies.
I take particular pride in my defensive ability. I've made the highlights and gotten some attention for big catches this season. I especially enjoy making a good catch during that key inning, like the one I made in Houston earlier this month. With a catch in an important situation like that, you can help your team get a victory. That's more enjoyable than just making a diving catch or robbing somebody in a lopsided game.
Overall, I'm optimistic about this organization. We have some great talent still in the Minors, some very good players. Everybody is so hungry up here, too. We all want to win and you can tell the fans in Pittsburgh are ready to erupt. Next year, we need to keep battling like we've done this year and turn it around.
Nyjer Morgan is hitting .266 with 12 runs and six stolen bases in 21 games this season. The 27-year-old center fielder led off two consecutive games with triples and picked up two hits in four of five games in one stretch. His over-the-shoulder grab against Houston on Sept. 14 is already considered one of the best ever at Minute Maid Park. Morgan, the Pirates' 33rd-round pick in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, also played junior hockey in Canada before returning to the States to play baseball at Walla Walla Community College.
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