Bader was in St. Louis on Saturday taking part in the annual Cardinals Winter Warm-Up.
“I’m the starting center fielder,” the 25-year-old Bader said. “It’s my position. I’m going to take it. There’s no sense in talking about it. I’m looking forward to showing up day one, guns blazing and ready to go.”
While there is no question about his defensive ability and speed in center, it’s his bat that gives some pause.
Last season, Bader finished with a .205 batting average. He hit 12 home runs, drove in 39 runs and stole 11 bases.
“Last year, individually it wasn’t what I wanted it to be production-wise,” Bader said. “The biggest thing I’ve taken away at this point is how I responded. I’ve been very fortunate to be with people behind the scenes who’ve helped me take steps in the right direction to help me produce like I want to and how I know I can.
“There’s no secret to it. There’s no special sauce. This is a day-in and day-out grind. My swing is feeling really good. All you can do is go out there and play hard. That’s what I’ve been doing.”
“I’m the starting center fielder….