Feature: Baseball's Carlos Quentin ... No Shortcuts To Success
Feb. 22, 2002
At first look, Carlos Quentin is your prototypical natural athlete ... big, strong, fast and powerful. Those types of athletes have a reputation for taking their natural abilities for granted.
Indeed, Quentin is a gifted athlete with natural abilities that have allowed him with much success in the athletic arena. He was a three-sport athlete at the University of San Diego High School -- excelling in baseball, football and basketball to earn San Diego Male Athlete of the Year honors in 2000.
When he arrived at Stanford, Quentin announced his presence 'with authority' as former ESPN broadcaster Larry Beil might say. He homered in his first collegiate at bat as a freshman and then hit safely in his first eight games. By the time the year was over, he had earned Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors and spots on the All-Pac-10 team, as well as all three major Freshman All-American squads. Quentin finished the year with a .345 batting average, while ranking second on the club in both homers (11) and RBI (52).
Quentin's high profile continued to grow last summer when he earned a spot on the Team USA roster, travelling around the nation and to Japan representing the best amateur players in the United States.
This season has been no different. Amazingly, Quentin homered in his first at bat of the season again and had a pair of homers in the season-opening series against Cal State Fullerton. In the second game of the team's next series at Florida State, Quentin set a new NCAA Division I single-game record when he was hit five times by Seminole pitchers.
'It was kind of a freak thing,' said Quentin, who was the only player hit in the game. 'I guess it was just my day to get hit. I had kind of mixed feelings. It was fun to have a (NCAA) record, but it wasn't too fun to get hit five times.'
What has not been freaky but has been a lot of fun is the tear Quentin has been on in the five games since then, going 12-for-19 (.632) with a pair of doubles, a homer, five RBI and a pair of stolen bases. On the season, Quentin leads the club with a .485 batting average and three homers, while ranking second with 12 RBI.
Quentin's success can be attributed as much to his hard work as his pure natural ability. He makes sure to never take his natural athletic ability for granted and is constantly working on ways to improve upon it. After finishing up with Team USA last summer, he focused on a training program that included intense weightlifting, running and speed work.
'I wanted to prepare for my sophomore year and went at it really hard,' said Quentin. 'I knew I wasn't going to be too much of a surprise this year. I wanted to do everything possible to prepare myself physically, so I wouldn't have to worry about that part of the game. If I don't cut anything short in that area and work as hard as I can, hopefully it will give me the confidence to perform.'
'Carlos has a good combination of athletic ability and a tremendous work ethic,' says Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'A lot of guys work hard, but nobody works harder than Carlos.'
Not only does Quentin work hard for himself, but he's also a big believer in teamwork.
'If I have a bad day and the team wins that's fine,' says Quentin. 'But, if I have a good day and the team loses, that's not okay. It's all about helping the team win and going all out. I need to play as hard as I can to be productive and help the team win.'
Check out Carlos immediately after a game and you'll understand. If he gets four hits and the team loses, you won't see any smiles. If the team wins, you would never know if he was 4-for-4 or 0-for-4.
by Kyle McRae