Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

7 Years Later, Wesclin's Brede Still Dreams

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

7 Years Later, Wesclin's Brede Still Dreams

Article excerpt

Brent Brede never had a timetable for reaching the big leagues. If he had, he would have expected it to happen already.

"Usually guys who have been around as long as I have been either have been in the big leagues or at least been on a 40-man roster," Brede said. "I may not ever get there. That's OK if it happens that way, I guess. I still plan on playing until they tell me to stop."

Don't look for the Minnesota Twins to tell Brede to stop any time soon.

His seventh minor-league season is shaping up to be his best since the Twins drafted him in 1990 out of Wesclin High.

He ranks ninth in the Pacific Coast League with a .327 batting average for Class AAA Salt Lake City. He has 38 RBIs and has scored 46 runs. Through his first six pro seasons, only one as high as AA, he batted .258 and averaged 33 RBIs.

"Physically, I'm a little stronger than I ever was before," said Brede, an outfielder. "The Twins told me I need to put up more power numbers and RBIs for the position I play. So I've tried to be more aggressive and drive the ball."

He can't really explain why it's taken this long to kick into such offensive production. Part of the delay could harken to 1993. He had a good season rolling for Class A Fort Myers when he suffered a broken right wrist.

"At the time, I didn't think much of it, but looking back it was really a setback," he said. "The next year, they sent me back to the Florida State League and I wasn't happy to be there. I wasted two years."

He has learned much about baseball and life in general. Even though his baseball career seemed stalled, Brede moved ahead as best he could. He and wife Lisa also from Trenton, Ill., married a couple of years ago.

Brent has been working on his degree at McKendree College in the offseason and last winter coached the freshman basketball team at Wesclin High, where he was instrumental in winning the Class A basketball title in 1990.

He said having a wife and staying tied to his small hometown might have him even hungrier to pursue a shot at the major leagues.

"I don't want to let them down," he said.

Dmitri Watch: Dmitri Young is making quite a push to contend for the Cardinals' first-base job next season. …

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