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Class-A the big uneasy for 5-year vet Schilling

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Cyclones second baseman Micah Schilling was a first-round draft pick straight out of his Louisiana high school in 2002, making him one of the top prospects in all of baseball.

So what’s he still doing in Class-A ball?

Learning the age-old lesson: Baseball is a tough game and an even tougher life.

“When I was first drafted, I was always the younger guy,” said the now-24-year-old, who started in the Indians organization five years ago, yet has never risen above Class-A.

“Trying to feel accepted was really hard. Age-wise, it’s not a big deal, but maturity and interests-wise, it’s huge. I couldn’t even go to bars or restaurants with some of the guys if I wanted. Now I’m older, but I think it’s an advantage, I have a lot more experience now.”

Schilling has arguably been one of Brooklyn’s best all-around players, making amazing plays on defense and getting timely hits.

Cyclones manager Edgar Alfonzo loves what he sees from the second baseman, who’s hitting .298 in 15 games this season.

“He’s really important to this team,” said Alfonzo. “I think he can hit, but what’s really stood out about him has been his defense. You put those two things together and it’s easy to see how important he is to this team.”

Though he’s no closer to the bigs than his 19-year-old teammates, Schilling’s a veteran who understands that he has to be a leader — and a guy who serves as an example of how to deal with the hardships he’s endured.

“Guys have been asking me questions and I’m answering all of them,” said the pride of Clinton, Louisiana.

“I just want to make sure that they’re all comfortable and ready to give their all on the field. I know I am.”

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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