Brazil's own Brady Shoemaker has always had versatility whether it be off the baseball field as a tutor and a mentor for young athletes during some of his camps or hitting clinics or as an eighth-grade basketball coach a year ago at North Clay.
Recently, he's added that versatility to his on the diamond resumé.
The former Northview, Olney Central and Indiana State standout is in his second season with the Miami Marlins organization and is excelling with the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs. The 27-year-old Shoemaker has plied his trade for the majority of his career in the outfield, but has found a spot at first base this season with the Zephyrs. Over the last several weeks Shoemaker has made the transition from left field to first base.
This isn't the first time he's played on the corner as last season for the Double-A Jacksonville Suns he played in 35 games at first base for a team that won a championship. He was one of the stars for Jacksonville as he posted a career-high 71 RBI as the Suns won their final 10 games of the regular season and Shoemaker launched a three-run home run in the game that clinched the division 6-5 against Mobile. He wasn't done yet as he hit a pair of home runs and drove in five runs as Jacksonville captured the Southern League championship.
Finally healthy last season, Shoemaker hit a career-high 12 home runs for the Suns to go with his RBI total.
The return to action last year was refreshing for Shoemaker, who sat out the entire 2013 season after having surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. While it wasn't the ideal path for his career, Shoemaker also had the chance to return home to Brazil where he spent time with the high school team and also coached eighth-grade basketball for a season at North Clay. While he wasn't able to excel on the diamond for a year, he was still a star in the eyes of area youngsters who got the chance to work with a big leaguer during some of Shoemaker's hitting clinics and a youth camp. Always a favorite amongst the kids, Shoemaker was on hand to support high school sports quite often as well while continuing his rehab on his shoulder.
During an interview with the New Orleans Zephyrs' website, he commented on how difficult it was to miss a full season due to injury and what it was like not being able to play the game he loves.
"Missing the whole year was a different experience. When you do something your whole life every year, you're going to miss it. All aspects of it, the clubhouse, the games, just being around the guys," said Shoemaker.
He has come back with a vengeance this season however as he currently stands eighth in the Pacific Coast League with a .338 batting average and has reached base nearly 43-percent of the time. Over his last 10 games he has hit .353 with nine RBI and has scored six times.
Over his minor league career, Shoemaker has hit .300 in 1,977 at-bats, has driven in 338 runs, homered 64 times and has an on-base percentage of .394.