Sept. 12, 2008
By Laura Rasmussen-Media Relations Student Assistant
Lobos outfielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez has built his plan for successful execution around three actions.
It's safe to say that plan has worked.
Still, the ability to balance the three has been a mighty task. A task that the senior slugger realizes he has come to develop with time.
Cavazos-Galvez finished up a stellar prep career at Albuquerque Manzano High School in 2005, winning the Triple Crown his senior season, and collecting player of the year honors in the state.
Despite his outstanding resume, Ray Birmingham knew Cavazos-Galvez had a lot to learn when the youngster began his collegiate career at New Mexico Junior College.
"Just like all freshmen, he had to mature physically and mentally," now-Lobos head coach Ray Birmingham said. "It has been a work in progress and he has taken it."
As a sophomore, Cavazos-Galvez was instrumental in leading NMJC to the 2007 Junior College World Series, an experience that still ranks first as his favorite memory of playing baseball. He drove in a whopping 87 runs that season while batting .480 with 11 home runs. It was a fitting follow-up to his freshman season in which he hit .517 with 66 RBI and nine home runs.
There is no doubt the power has always been there, but that isn't enough for Cavazos-Galvez.
"I have always been known to hit, but not necessarily that I could play defense or not always that I can run fast or not always something else," he said. "I take pride in the things that people won't expect me to do well."
True to that statement, Cavazos-Galvez didn't miss a beat on offense as a Lobo last year, hitting .367 with 55 RBI and 11 home runs.
But it was defense that he wanted to prove.
So he did, committing only two errors coupled with six assists during 51 games in right field.
"In this upcoming year, I want to be more patient," he said. "I worked on patience a lot this summer (for the Battle Creek Bombers in the Northwoods League) and I think it is going to pay off this next season."
While he ranked 16th in the nation for toughest to strikeout in 2008, Cavazos-Galvez admits that stat is a result of trying to put the ball in play. With only six walks last season, patience is something he is poised to prove in 2009.
Birmingham says that while Cavazos-Galvez is an emotional player, he knows when to let things go and trust his abilities.
"He has never quit on me," Birmingham said. "And that is the key. There are times when a lesser man would have quit, but he stepped it up. And it will pay off for him in the long run."
It has been his exposure to examples that has allowed Cavazos-Galvez to build on his abilities year after year.
"One of my biggest strengths is evaluating other teams' approaches or other players' approaches to try to beat our team. I can pick those things out.
"It comes with age just like you get more polished with age. You will notice something someone does and foresee the outcome."
That coming-of-age factor has produced powerful results, including the confidence of sticking to his plan of intensity, focus and fun.
"He is intense. He is focused. He is a no-brainer to get drafted," Birmingham said. "The crazy thing is he will relax and enjoy playing the game because he loves it. And the other things will happen."