Plummer powers through early-career adversity

Sports

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Nick Plummer had a goal going into Thursday night’s game.

“Going out today, we have a game against Tulsa, go out and try to put 4-5 really good at bats together, I have the DH today and just really have fun you know,” Plummer said.

He did have fun that night, tying a Springfield Cardinals record with three home runs in a game.

The Cardinals selected Plummer with the 23rd overall pick in the 2015 draft. Before names like Harrison Bader, Paul DeJong and Ryan Helsley.

“The biggest pressure was probably what I put on myself and my expectations,” Plummer said. “It made me the person I am today.”

After his rookie season, Plummer joined the Cardinals for Spring Training in 2016.

Before the ensuing minor league season, Plummer fractured a hamate bone in his wrist, which combined with a cartilage complex tear, forced him to miss the entire season.

“It was hard, but the way I look at it is that the years of adversity that I had it’s put me in the mental headspace that I have been through a lot of stuff already in my young career where there isn’t much else that will buckle me up any more,” Plummer said.

The next three years across A-ball, Plummer combined for a 194 batting average.

With the cancellation of the 2020 season, Plummer went back to the lab. Traveling between Michigan and Florida, Plummer was able to get insight from others and get valuable time on the field.

“I think something that kept me in it and put me in the position I am in today, I was battling,” Plummer said. “Just to be able to assess myself at the end of each game and each day and try to improve myself.”

That time is paying off now in his first season at the Double-A level. Plummer is batting .306, the sixth highest in the Double-A Central, and he’s already tied a career best with 8 home runs this season.

Not taking for granted a day on the diamond.

“It’s being able to come into the clubhouse every day with a clear mind and fully trust my abilities, knowing that the best Nick Plummer is going to be out there,” Plummer said. “All the [accolades] that come with it are cool, but I have kind of been there and done that, I’m more so liking what I see in the mirror and liking how my progression is going.”

On Monday, Plummer was named the Double-A Central player of the week for his performance against Tulsa.

The Cardinals begin a rodeo road trip with series against Frisco and San Antonio before returning to Hammons Field the last week of July.

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