The tradition of Long Island baseball continues to grow as more local young men are making themselves known around the minor leagues. Huntington’s own Cam Maron joins the list.
After graduating from Hicksville High School, Maron was drafted by the New York Mets in the 34th round of the 2009 MLB Draft. Ironically, he grew up a Mets fan, so he says he relishes the opportunity to play for his favorite team.
“It’s a dream come true from the start,” said Maron, 20. “A lot of it happened so quickly, and eventually you’re on the field wearing a Met uniform.”
Not only is Maron playing in the Mets system, but he’s also playing well. For the Rookie Ball affiliate Kingsport (Tenn.) Mets, the catcher’s .410 on-base percentage ranks him fourth in the entire Mets organization, while his .303 batting average ranks him tied for ninth.
“I’ve put in my time and work in the cages,” Maron said. “I attribute a lot of success to my hitting coach down here, Luis Rivera. I expect only the best from myself which I always have.”
Growing up in the fast-paced atmosphere of Long Island, living in Tennessee has been quite the experience for Maron.
“It’s a drastic change from Long Island,” said Maron. “It’s a completely different world and atmosphere down here. But it’s a nice experience to meet new people and live a new lifestyle.”
While in high school, Maron realized that he had a shot to play professional baseball. Scouts noticed his work ethic and versatility. In addition to catching, Maron can play first base and the outfield.
“I could tell from the first time I met him that he was going to be special,” said Jeff Rusoff, Maron’s coach for the Long Island Astros summer team for five years.
So far, the pitchers in the Mets organization have enjoyed throwing to Maron. Building this sense of trust is an essential quality, especially for a young catcher.
In addition to batting left-handed, Maron’s game is similar to that of current Mets catcher Josh Thole. Both are contact hitters who rarely strikeout and exhibit strong defensive skills.
“People put us in the same category,” Maron said. “I haven’t really gotten a chance to sit down and speak with him which is something I want to do.”
Maron’s attitude and passion for the game have allowed him to become a legitimate prospect. In fact, he was one of the only Mets minor leaguers during spring training to have a smile on his face during 7 a.m. workouts in Port St. Lucie.
He still has a long road to get to the Major Leagues, but Rusoff says Maron’s leadership skills and maturity will get him where he wants to be.
“I’m sure that one day he’ll be playing over at Citi Field for the New York Mets,” said Rusoff.
Though his former coach has high hopes for him, Maron is concentrated on finishing this season strong at Kingsport and possibly moving onto the Brooklyn Cyclones—the Mets Single-A short season affiliate—next year. If so, Maron’s family and friends will be mainstays next summer at MCU Park on Coney Island.