LYNWOOD | Eric Meyerchick knows that if it wasn't for himself, he wouldn't be here.
That's the attitude he has since embraced while making the transition to professional baseball.
"When I played in high school and college, there was always someone looking out for me like my coaches," said the former T.F. South and St. Joseph College right-handed ace, who now plays in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.
"Now, you've got to look out more for yourself. You've got to take more personal responsibility in keeping yourself in shape and getting yourself ready to play."
After winning 21 games during his career with St. Joe's, placing third among the school's all-time leaders, Meyerchick went 3-2 last season with a 5.48 earned run average for the Diamondbacks' Rookie League team.
"It's different, but it's still baseball," said Meyerchick, who turns 23 in February. "The thing is you don't know anybody. You're used to seeing the same players in high school and college, but now everyone is a stranger."
Meyerchick and fellow pro player Dean Anna gave a free clinic to the NWI Thunder youth baseball team, Jan. 21 at the Ho-Chunk Sports and Expo Center.
Formerly of Lincoln-Way East and Ball State, 25-year-old Anna has played five years in the San Diego Padres organization. A quintessential utility player, Anna has played every position during his professional career except pitcher and catcher.
"If I ever have to catch, I'll probably quit," said Anna, a Mokena resident.
"I originally came up as a shortstop. That's my favorite position," said Anna, who was a Texas League Double-A all-star for the Padres' San Antonio affiliate while hitting .271 with 10 home runs last season. "But sometimes you have to adapt if you want to make it.
"No matter what position you play, you've got to hit."
Both players are clients of Worldwide Career Management, run by Brian Brundage, who got Meyerchick and Anna in touch with the Thunder for the clinic.
Meyerchick has done youth clinics before and plans to give more lessons during the offseason.
"I really like doing it," said Meyerchick, who is in the process of becoming a staff member at a baseball training school in Northwest Indiana. "It's my way of giving back."