Player Profile: Sargent thrives in unique role with Commodores

By Gabby Lucivero/Broadcaster

Photo by Gabby Lucivero
Photo by Gabby Lucivero

Wes Sargent takes batting practice with his teammates before every game. He shakes his head and asks for one more just like the rest of them, swinging out of his shoes. But when he steps out of the cage, Sargent doesn’t join the rest of his teammates in the field, instead he’s hitting grounders to the infield or catching bullpen sessions.

The infielder from Palm Harbor, Fla. started off his summer on the Cape with hopes of extending his temp contract into a full-time deal, but found himself in a different position come the transition period

“When they made the transition from temp players to contract guys, at that point in time I switched over and took on a coaching role,” said Sargent of his part of the Commodores coaching staff. “I coach back at school at Florida Gulf Coast, I’m listed as a student assistant [there].”

Even though Sargent didn’t get the spot on the Falmouth roster he had been hoping for, he has still found a learning experience in every day at the field.

“I’m definitely [learning] the different mindsets of the different regions in the nation and different styles of play.” Sargent said. “I grew up in Florida and I’ve been there my whole life, so I’ve seen that baseball my whole life. So seeing different types of personalities from these guys is great to learn as a coach to see what they respond to or what they don’t respond to.”

For Sargent, making the decision to stick around on the Cape to coach was an easy one, but testing the waters of coaching his peers took a little more finesse.

“I’m the same age as most of these guys, so you start off slow with it and let them get a feel for you,” Sargent said. “I kind of came in and attacked it as, if guys want help I’m there to help and ask, but from the get go, I wasn’t really aggressive when it came to telling guys, or helping guys out right away. It was more of a thing where I let them come to me.”

While the Florida Gulf Coast senior helps his peers on the field, he hasn’t lost sight of his own goals for the summer and his final year of college.

“My goals heading into this summer were to really expand my knowledge of the game and to be able to see this type of talent on a daily basis and to bring that back to school,” Sargent said. “Being able to see this kind of talent really gives me the perspective of guys that can really play and guys that can’t or have it at a certain level.”

This summer would not be half as much of a success for Sargent without the insight from Commodores’ coaching staff.

“With [coach] Jeff Trundy, [coach Brad] Stoll, [coach Kellen] Mitts and [pitching coach Mike] Landry they’re full of wisdom when it comes to the game,” Sargent said. “Just being in the dugout with those guys and listening to comments throughout the game…[I’ve] been able to show what I know a little bit and also kind of gain some stuff from the staff around me when it comes to working with guys one on one.”

Sargent has spent the last nine weeks working closely with the coaches whom he watched from the stands less than a decade ago. Growing up with a father who scouted in the Cape League, Sargent’s trip to Cape Cod this summer was not his first.

“It kind of gives you the perspective of all these ball players, they’re kids.” Sargent said of how his perspective has changed over the years. “They’re normal kids. They come out and they’re working just as hard as anyone else. They’re not superheroes by any means, they are the best baseball players in the country, arguably, but they’re still kids and they still think the same way as everyone else.”

And even though Sargent’s last visit sets him back into the early 2000s, he would have seen Trundy in his familiar post in the Commodores dugout. Only now, instead of looking on, he’s standing side by side with the beloved Falmouth coach.

“Coach Trundy does a great job preaching to these guys about keeping that looseness and having fun out here playing every day,” Sargent said. “I mean, baseball is a game of failure and you’ve got to stay positive every day. It’s the only way, you’re going to have success.”

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