With six players representing this year’s Modesto Nuts team in the California League All-Star Game’s North Division, the team places a lot of emphasis on the tight knit chemistry they’ve developed.
Center fielder Braden Bishop, RHPs Reggie McClain and Nick Neidert, and infielders Logan Taylor, Chris Mariscal, and Gianfranco Wawoe made the North Division All-Star team and will be playing against the California League South Division in Visalia, Calif. on Jun. 20.
“I think it was preached to us early on, through spring training and when this new management took over,” Bishop said. “That if you put the team before yourself and really buy into the guys around you that at the end, it’s going to pay off for you individually. When you win, everybody plays well. So that’s been the biggest thing, just want that guy to your left and right to do well, and truly want it, not just say it, but actually believe it. I think so far our record indicates that’s exactly what is happening.”
Taylor agreed, saying that a key factor in having such a tight knit team is just caring for each other.
“We’re all going to go through ups and downs but caring for each other and having each other’s backs,” Taylor said. “Having a good time and joking around and then knowing when to put the joking aside and just go to work. We all trust each other, we all trust the guy behind us or in front of us that they’re going to get the job done. We’re playing for each other and not for ourselves.”
McClain said it’s a good thing that they’ve got going with regard to the team chemistry. Modesto clinched the first half division title on Jun. 17 while in Inland Empire (High-A Angels), which means the team is going to the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
“Everybody is cool with each other,” McClain said. “Nobody is really out there on their own little limb. We’re all doing it together and it’s contributing to where we’re at right now.”
Neidert likens the team to one big family.
“We all pick on each other like brothers,” Neidert said. “I love every one of these guys and I hope the best for each and every one of them. Everyone is pulling for each other.”
Whether it’s on or off the field, each member of the Nuts wants his teammates to improve just as he does.
“We’re all just trying to get better, and get consistent,” Taylor said,“That’s the name of the game. When you can get consistent you progress. We’re just all trying to work hard and help each other and make the guy next to us better every day.”
Looking to the second half, while each player has their own set of goals for their development, they never lose sight of being a team.
“We’ve been winning a lot of games this first half,” Taylor said. “We just wanna stay loose, have a good time together and continue to work hard.”
Following the California League All-Star Game, Modesto opens the second half of the season in Stockton, Calif. against the Ports (High-A Athletics) for a four game series on Jun. 22.