Rainiers outfielder T.J. Bohn
TACOMA, Wash. – It took 436 games for T.J. Bohn to get to Triple-A Tacoma. Since being drafted in the 30th round in 2002, Bohn has done nothing but perform. In the past few months, the 6-foot-4 multi-tooled outfielder has taken his talents to the next level - literally.
The Minnesota native has taken each step through the minors and added to his game along the way. After cleaning up higher strikeout rates in the lower minors, Bohn has taken his game to new levels, smacking 44 extra-base hits in 113 games in Double-A San Antonio this season. His 12 home runs are just two shy of his career high set last year at Inland Empire and San Antonio.
On Monday, the 25-year-old brought his game to Cheney Stadium, one step from the dream that stands just 45 miles north up the interstate. His journey to Tacoma didn’t come easy, however. Bohn was notified prior to the Missions game in Tulsa on Sunday and his flight was re-routed through Atlanta to get to the Pacific Northwest.
“I’m just tired more than anything right now,” said Bohn after his first game in a Rainier uniform. “It was a long trip to get here.”
After Bohn was told of his promotion the first phone call was back home – just in time.
“I called my mom right away,” said Bohn. “She was very excited. I called her right before she was going to take a flight down to San Antonio. She'll make it here, now.”
Another re-route for the Bohn family, but this time a welcomed detour.
Bohn started and played in center field for Tacoma on Monday night and is coming into a hitter’s league after a hot 8-week stretch of the season. Bohn’s power numbers have spiked since June and his bat is something that could be in the midst of a career-jump. Or so the M’s and Bohn both hope.
“I think I’m just seeing the ball really well right now,” said Bohn. “My approach is pretty much the same. I’m hitting some balls hard and they are going out.”
Bohn went 0-for-3 in his first game in his new digs, but reflected positively of his initiation into the Pacific Coast League – a 2-1 win over Salt Lake that vaulted the Rainiers into a first-place tie in their division..
“I was nervous but it was good to get that first game out of the way,” Bohn said. “Good to be a part of a win like this one, that’s for sure.”
Bohn didn’t arrive at Cheney Stadium until 4 p.m. and was exhausted from the long hours in the air and at the airports, but he was in the lineup out of necessity. The Rainiers had just nine position players available and only three outfielders.
Bohn played all nine innings, taking care of center field – bucking up and getting it done just as he has over the past three years, level after level, league after league. And now he’s just one step from a dream come true.
“I think this is the toughest jump,” said Bohn of the move from Double-A to Triple-A. “And, yeah, that [being one call from the majors] was going through my mind all day today.”
If Bohn repeats the success he has experienced throughout his professional career, another re-route may be in his future. Good thing this one will just be a 45-minute cab ride up the road to Safeco Field.