Thomas College baseball coach Greg King knows the type of player he wants to recruit because he already has one in senior Cody Vigue.
“He’s a good tough kid,” King said. “He’s the type of kid we love.”
Vigue is not only hard-nosed, but talented. King calls him one of the best athletes to play at Thomas, something he showed at Skowhegan Area High School where he starred in football, basketball and baseball. The center fielder played a key role in the Terriers’ school-record, 25-win season last spring and hopes to lead a young team back to another successful year.
Thomas opened the season with a pair of losses — 6-2 and 7-6 — to Johnson and Wales, but Vigue is optimistic as the team prepares for a 10-game trip to Florida next week.
“This year I feel we’re more athletic,” he said. “Coming out of those two games, I definitely have a lot more confidence.”
Vigue comes from a baseball background. Four of his uncles — Ron, Steve, Jim and Tim Mayo — excelled at the sport and he’s continued the family tradition. He transferred to Thomas after one semester his freshman year and worked his way into the lineup halfway through the season. He’s been there ever since.
Last season Vigue batted .341 with 29 RBI, had 18 extra base hits, including three home runs, and stole 10 bases. He also made just one error while playing center field.
“I expect big things from him, but I don’t want to put pressure on him,” King said. “When he gets too serious, that’s just not him.”
Vigue had above average speed and arm strength when he arrived at Thomas and quickly eliminated some holes in his swing. He’s a contact hitter who last season walked just twice. He’s already drawn one walk in the first two games, and may change his approach slightly this season with a young lineup around him.
“I’ve always been a free swinger,” he said. “I don’t really have the patience. This year I’ve got to sit back a little more.”
Vigue considers himself a gap hitter, but showed he had home run power by belting three homers in the postseason tournament last spring. He’s added 25 pounds of muscle since arriving at Thomas and said a conditioning program instituted last year has helped him greatly.
“The game comes easier to you when you’re in better shape,” he said.
King loves the way Vigue glides to the ball in the outfield, saying he’s fun to watch because he’s so athletic and graceful. One position he hasn’t played yet is pitcher, although he’s listed as an outfielder/pitcher on the roster. He pitched in high school but injuries have precluded getting Vigue on the mound the past couple of seasons.
“It’s not that we don’t want him to pitch,” King said. “He’s just so valuable in the outfield. We would like to use him as a closer.”
Attending Thomas not only afforded Vigue a chance to continue playing baseball, it also got him into the criminal justice program.
“Once I started it, I fell in love with it,” said Vigue, whose dream is to become a federal officer.
He figures he’ll start at a local police department and got some good on-the-job training as an intern with the Augusta Police Department last fall.
Gary Hawkins — 621-5638