When the Oakland Athletics sent Gregorio Petit back to the minors in 2010 and eventually traded him to the Texas Rangers organization, he did what he always does.
Despite parting ways with the club that signed him out of Venezuela, brought him all the way up through the minors and finally gave him 25 games over two seasons in the majors, Petit stayed positive.
He keep moving. He found another opportunity. He went with it.
“That’s life, man,” Petit said. “Things come and go. You just gotta stay as positive as you can, and hopefully things will turn out your way. You just have to take advantage of your time and try to enjoy it.”
That next opportunity didn’t exactly work out either. Petit bounced around in the minors in the Rangers, Padres and Indians organizations for the next three years. Before the 2014 season, Petit’s baseball career was on the ropes.
Oklahoma City RedHawks manager Tony DeFrancesco, who worked with Petit for three years as the A’s third base coach and Sacramento River Cats manager, made sure that was no longer the case. He said he knew Petit was frustrated after Oakland let him go, but he thought Petit could still play.
“I knew he could hit,” DeFrancesco said. “I had seen him down in Venezuela, and I put a recommendation in because I thought he could help us.”
“Help” doesn’t do Petit justice. The versatile infielder, who signed with the Astros organization in January, has done plenty of solid glovework for the Triple-A RedHawks, and his bat is as hot as ever. At age 29, Petit also provides a dose of experience to the club.
“Look at what he’s doing here,” DeFrancesco said. “He’s solidifying the infield and giving quality at-bats.
“He’s been everything we’ve asked defensively, and we’re pleased with his power and the way he’s preparing. He’s done a great job.”
In June, Petit is hitting .367 with five home runs and 18 RBIs.
That’s quite the bounce back from hitting .202 in May. As of Saturday, Petit is hitting .300 for the season.
“When I had him early as a young hitter, he was kind of overaggressive, didn’t really know the strike zone,” DeFrancesco said. “He’s matured as a hitter.
“Sometimes when a team gives up on you, you’ve got something to prove. This might be the right opportunity for him.”
Petit isn’t placing too much stock is his hot streak, however. He’s been through enough to know the ebbs and flows of the game. But from that, he’s picked up the attitude of an eternal optimist.
Petit left Saturday's game after an apparent minor leg injury in the third inning, but his baseball career is still giving him more than enough to smile about.
“That’s just me,” he said. “I put myself in a positive situation and a positive thought process. That’s the only thing I can control. Sometimes it’s not going to come this easy.”