Two Gamecocks prepare for another spring training


MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - Reese Havens and Mike Cisco have a lot in common. Both are former Gamecocks and local high school baseball stars. Both have spent parts of five seasons playing minor league baseball, and both still have the look of a kid who dreams of playing in the majors.

"I feel like I'm ready," says Cisco, a Phillies farmhand who continues to post impressive pitching numbers.{}

He had a 10-1 record combined playing at AA{}Reading and AAA{}Lehigh Valley last season.

"The last two years have been really good years, I'm just waiting for the opportunity and just put myself in the best position to succeed when that opportunity arrives," he said.

Reese Havens' minor league numbers are not what you would expect from a player drafted in the first round of the 2008 amateur draft by the New York Mets. He hit just .215 at AA Binghamton in 2012, but was still able to record almost 400 at bats. Injuries have derailed the infielder's progress, but for the first time in a long time he is healthy and smiling.

"I'm going to big league camp, it will be the same as it's been the last two or three years," said the Sullivan's Island native. "I'll compete for a job and go from there. I'm ready to get things rolling again. I'm starting to get the itch to play."

Both Cisco and Havens can be spotted working out locally. Cisco throws regularly at Patriots Point, Havens meanwhile, has taken a new approach this off season.

"This is actually my first off season spending it in Charleston," said Havens. "One of my old buddies from Bishop England, Joey Wellington, is training me, so it's been nice to spend time with family and friends, it's been great."

Making the majors with the organization that drafted them would be the perfect payoff for both players, but Cisco says if a trade were to be made that would get him to the big leagues a little bit quicker he would welcome the opportunity.

"Absolutely - if it meant getting to the big leagues, but there are some things I just can't control," adds Cisco. "I still have two more years until I'm a free agent so until then the Phillies control my rights. I like the Phillies organization, they have treated me well since 2008, any opportunity would be a good one," Cisco said.

The Mets expected Havens to be in the big leagues by now, solidifying the right side of their infield with first baseman Ike Davis, who like Haven's was a first round pick back in 2008.

"I'm at peace with it all," said Havens. "I'm ready to go, I've had a good off season, but more than anything spending time with family and friends has been a good tonic. I'm ready to go."

They're two kids working to make a major league dream come true. Both players will report to spring training in Florida in February.

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