March 28, 2008

Chula Vista’s Carlos Quentin has a New Start with White Sox

By John Philip Wyllie

From the time that Carlos Quentin attended Chula Vista’s Saint Pius XII Elementary School in the 1990s those around him could see that there was something extraordinary about him. He excelled in the classroom and there wasn’t a sport he couldn’t play and play well. Living in the Eastlake area, he could have attended Eastlake High School with a guy named Adrian Gonzalez, but his parents opted to keep him in Catholic school and he headed to University of San Diego High School instead. There he excelled in football, basketball and baseball, but baseball was always his number one sport and it earned him a scholarship to Stanford.

In his three-year career for the Cardinals Quentin won All-Pac-10 honors each year and in his final year as a junior led his team to the College World Series. A 2003 first round draft choice of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Quentin made his professional debut three years later and batted a respectable .253 as a D-Backs rookie with nine home runs and 32 RBIs in just 57 games.

Last year Quentin started the season on the disabled list due to a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Things went from bad to worse when hamstring problems complicated matters. Struggling with the injury curse, he was eventually optioned to Triple A and then traded to the Chicago White Sox in December. Quentin hopes his fresh start with the White Sox will get his career back on track.

“Last year was a tough year because I was battling with some health issues, but I had a good surgery and rehab and I am continuing to get better here.” Quentin said from the team’s Tucson spring training headquarters. “The White Sox have given me a good opportunity to come out here and fight for a job and that is what I am doing.”

While his 2007 season was one of frustration, he did learn from the experience.

“I train differently today than I once did. I try to work more with flexibility and I do different things for that. You learn about your body as you get a little bit older. Some of it has been bad luck, but you control what you can and I feel I am doing what I can to control it.”

At this point it is too early to say what role Quentin will have with the White Sox. He has played both left and right field.

“Spring training is going well. My shoulder is getting better and my swing is getting a little bit better every day. I am just looking to get into some more games and I am getting ready to go. There are a lot of good players here, but I will continue to do all that I can and let the chips fall where they may.”

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