There’s only one thing Sean McCauley loves doing more than baseball. And that’s fishing.
It wasn’t a surprise then to find the Osbourn High School graduate at a friend’s dock on the Occoquan Reservoir Monday night after 8 relaxing with a pole in his hand.
McCauley didn’t stay out too late. It was getting cold after all, a far cry from the warmer temperatures he enjoyed while attending spring training in Florida as a coach in the Washington Nationals’ minor-league system.
But he hung around long enough to hook some catfish before calling it an evening, knowing it might be awhile before he gets the chance to cast his line.
For the second straight season, McCauley will serve in multiple roles as coach with the Potomac Nationals. He’ll throw bullpen, coach first base and also work with the catchers for a team whose 144-game regular season began Thursday with a road trip to North Carolina.
Unlike last year when he was a late addition to the staff and didn’t get the chance to attend spring training, McCauley knew he would spend this season with a Nationals’ affiliate. It was a question of where.
Before spring training, McCauley was informed of his destination. Then he was off to Viera, Florida for the first time to share with players and learn from coaches at Washington’s spring training complex.
Last year, McCauley was tutored by a coaching staff that helped Potomac win its first and second-half division titles in the Carolina League and advance to the Mills Cup. Along the way, the Nationals tied for third in the minor leagues with the best winning percentage (.604), was fourth in wins (84) and tied for second with the least amount of losses (55).
McCauley is ready to pick up where he left off with this year’s new coaching staff.
“I looked forward to it every day,” McCauley said. “It’s fun.”
One of the advantages of being at spring training was getting a first-hand look at some of the catching prospects like Potomac National Pedro Severino, who is considered Washington’s top minor-league player at that position.
“He’s got good catch and release and he has fantastic control of the game,” McCauley said.
A former standout catcher himself who was a 12th round pick out of Osbourn by Kansas City in 2007, McCauley was highly regarded by the Royals until three shoulder surgeries forced him into an early retirement.
But the 24-year-old wanted to stay in the game in some capacity and got that chance through his long-time relationship with Mark Harris, a Stonewall Jackson graduate and then-hitting coach for the Potomac Nationals. Harris, who is with Double-A Harrisburg this season, believed McCauley had the makeup of a good coach and wanted to help him.
“I’m going to take it one day at a time,” McCauley said of his future. “I’m not really sure where this will take me.”