Last week, The Strike Out spoke with Patrick Cromwell, an alumni and former infielder of Clemson University. After playing in Australia and Germany, Cromwell has decided to settle in the South of France this year, joining the Montpellier Barracudas.
The Strike Out : Hi Patrick, thanks for accepting to answer a few questions from us. First of all, could you introduce yourself to our French readers who don’t know your background?
Patrick Cromwell : My name is Patrick Cromwell and I grew up in Southern California. I’ve been playing baseball my whole life and had had the opportunity to play college ball at Clemson University. I had a great experience playing there and played in Australia and Germany shortly after. I’m really excited for the opportunity to play in Montpellier, France in 2020
TSO : You’ve played many positions in your career (2B, 3B, SS), which one is your favourite?
PC : I grew up playing SS, but made the transition to 3B while in college and really grew to love that position. I see myself as a plus defender with good hands and 3B is the perfect spot for a guy like that. In the last couple years I have gone back to playing SS and felt like I haven’t skipped a beat. So, I think both SS and 3B are my favorite positions
TSO : You played in the NCAA, Australia and Germany. What do you think about these different types of baseball?
PC : Each of those leagues challenged me in different ways. The jump to NCAA college Baseball was tough. I realized the depth on every team and how every player on the field had the ability to continue on at the professional level. In Australia and Germany, it took me a couple weeks to understand how the game was played in those countries. Even though baseball is a sport played around the world, each country plays the game a little bit different. Playing in all three of those leagues turned me into a more complete player
TSO : You were an important player at Clemson, where you had a great last season. What would you have needed to be drafted by a MLB franchise?
PC : It’s quite an accomplishment to be selected in the Major League Baseball Draft. Teams look for guys that they think can have an impact not only in the big leagues, but the minor leagues as well
TSO : In Montpellier you will join two Americans (Ozanich and Cosgrove). Did the presence of those two talented players have an impact on your choice to join Montpellier?
PC : When I decided to head back to Europe for another season, I wanted to play with a friend. Andy and I played against each other in college and have many mutual friends. After hearing about his decision to pursue baseball in Europe, I reached out to him to see if he would like to search for teams together.
Thankfully, the Barracudas were in need of a shortstop and a catcher. I’m really excited to meet Owen. Since he is a veteran to playing baseball in France, Andy and I have been in contact with him during this process. He has been helpful in answering all of our questions so far.
After hearing of the team that Montpellier was putting together for this season, I was very excited. Both of these guys are incredible athletes and I think the three of us can help lead Montpellier to a championship
TSO : In France we are fascinated by the American University Sport, how is it for a young sportsman?
PC : I really enjoyed being a college athlete. The opportunity to play baseball at the highest amateur level while also getting an education was great. At times, it was very difficult to balance athletics and academics, but it teaches you how important time management skills really are. I grew a lot as an athlete and as a student while at Clemson
TSO : What are your long-term goals? Join a big league (Japan), continue your adventure in Europe or maybe return to the USA?
PC : I don’t have too many long-terms goals when it comes to baseball. I plan on focusing on this season in France and seeing where the game takes me for next season. I might head back to Australia for one more season, but haven’t put too much thought into it yet.
TSO : Who are the people and players who have inspired you the most and who still inspire you?
TSO : and for my final question, I’d like to talk about the MLB news and more specifically the cheating of the Astros? What do you think about that?
PC : t’s definitely been a crazy couple of weeks following the news regarding that. It seems like everyone has their own opinion on the situation. If all of it is true, my biggest thing is how it impacted the pitchers that just got called up to pitch against the Astros in Houston. If a guy had a bad outing due to the sign-stealing, he could be sent back down to AAA and never see the big leagues again.
All of us at The Strike Out would like to thank Patrick Cromwell for taking the time to make that interview. We wish him and the Barracudas all the best for the season ahead.