PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- One of the feel-good moments of the spring took place Friday in Dunedin, Fla., when Rays Minor League prospect Cameron Seitzer homered in front of his father, Kevin, the former Major Leaguer who now serves as Blue Jays hitting coach.
Cameron's blast came in the ninth inning of the Rays' 6-3 win over the Jays, when he connected on a 2-0 pitch from Todd Redmond and deposited the ball on the other side of the right-field wall.
The Rays drafted Cameron out of the University of Oklahoma in the 11th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. He spent last season at Double-A Montgomery, where he hit .268 with six home runs and 61 RBIs. He has performed well when given the opportunity this spring.
Thus far he has been called up twice from Minor League camp to appear in games with the Rays. In those stints, he has hit two home runs in four at-bats, making him the only player in camp with multiple home runs this spring. His first Grapefruit League home run came a week ago in Bradenton, when he sent the game into extra innings with a ninth-inning home run against the Pirates. Friday's homer expanded the Rays' lead to four runs.
The Rays travel to Dunedin on Wednesday to play the Blue Jays again. Rays manager Joe Maddon was asked if Seitzer would be asked to make the trip.
"He's got to," Maddon said. "He's had two ninth-inning home runs. One tied it and one gave us a cushion [Friday]. I don't know a lot about him. He's a nice kid. And to do that in front of his dad, a pretty special moment, and it just worked out really, really well. And I was happy for him. I know Kevin. Kevin's outstanding also. It was a great day for the Seitzer family."
Seitzer's father was a two-time All-Star who played 12 seasons in the Major Leagues for the Royals, Brewers, A's and Indians. Cameron stands 6-foot-5, which is six inches taller than his father.