Cody Buckel is one of the top pitching prospects in the Texas Rangers' farm system. He made it to Double A only four days after he turned 20, and has a 2.48 ERA in three seasons since joining the Rangers as a second-round pick in 2010.
Buckel, who is from Southern California, has also broken into the acting industry. He's not a Hollywood star by any means, but he's featured in a Dick's Sporting Goods baseball commercial right now.
But baseball is Buckel's top priority at this moment as he's in his first big-league camp.
Where did your acting interest develop? When I was in eighth grade, I met a kid named Jason Dolley who was on a Disney show called Good Luck Charlie. He introduced me to the acting world, got me into a drama class and took off with it. I really enjoyed it, portraying someone on stage and not getting judged by it.
And you played the lead role of Troy in your high school's production of High School Musical ? It was kind of out of the blue getting the lead role in a high school production and it was kind of the story of what was happening in my life -- star baseball athlete, star of the musical. In the show, it's a star basketball player and star of the show, so it was kind of real life meets Disney.
Now you're in a commercial. Do you prefer film or stage? I like film because they can get the little gestures and little movements, whereas on stage you have to be big and brash and bold. So I like film and doing the little smirks and eye movements and stuff like that.
You're living with Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer this spring. How'd you get to know him? We met when I was 14 by being on the same junior Olympic team. We had similar interests and we've stayed close ever since. We think a little differently on the mound, so it's nice to have somebody to talk to and bounce ideas off.
Finally, how has spring training gone so far? It's gone well, just now getting started with the full squad. I'm just looking to continue having consistency and build off what I've done the last couple of years.
He said it
"I love it. There's nothing like sitting around talking baseball and trying to get these young kids to understand how to do it." -- Ron Washington on holding chalkboard sessions with younger players
5.45ERA of Martin Perez in 12 games, including six starts, with the Rangers last season.
DH Lance Berkman (mild right calf strain): listed day-to-day and could be limited in baseball activities
RHP Colby Lewis (flexor tendon surgery in July): throwing out to 135 feet
RHP Roman Mendez (surgery for stress fracture in elbow in Nov.): throwing out to 120 feet
RHP Neftali Feliz (Tommy John elbow surgery in Aug.): throwing out to 60 feet
RHP Joakim Soria (Tommy John in April): threw 30-pitch bullpen session Wednesday
RHP Justin Miller (Tommy John in April): scheduled for 30-pitch bullpen today
RHP Matt West (Tommy John in Aug.): throwing out to 60 feet
RHP Wilmer Font (mild shoulder tendinitis): throwing off flat-ground today
3B Adrian Beltre (right calf inflammation): cleared for all baseball activities but slow-pacing it
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