This is part of the Southern League's newsletter "Southern Bases"...
Volume XII, Issue 3 May 17, 2006 An Official Publication of the Southern League
SOUTHERN BASES 4
NINE INNINGS WITH ....
The Chattanooga Lookouts' first baseman is the Cincinnati Reds ninth-best prospect, according to Baseball America. Southern Bases caught up with the slugger recently.
What are your goals for the 2006 season?
I'm usually pretty goal oriented but I decided that I would let things fall into place this year. I didn't really put down any goals on paper or in my head. Especially statistically or anything like that. The only goals that I have set for myself are to learn how to play within the team concept better and to improve my defense.
You've been killing the ball so far this season. How important is it to get off to a good start?
It's always important. You always want to be in the middle of doing well whether it is at the start or the end of the season. Good starts don't necessarily mean that you are going to finish well obviously. I just want to play well every day. It doesn't mean too much either way when it comes to the final product but I'm happy that I started well. It makes things a
lot easier. It definitely gives me more confidence. If you start off real slow, you tend to press a little bit more and try to do things instead of letting the game come to you. When you get off to a good start you can relax and work on some things instead of feeling pressured and thinking "I got to get hits, I got to get hits right away."
Both the New York Yankees and the Cincinnati Reds flew you in from Toronto to work out for them before the 2002 draft and you ended up being the 44th overall pick in the draft by Cincinnati. What was that experience like?
It was very flattering to be only 18 years old and to have these clubs fly me in and put me in hotels. It all happened really fast. It's all just a blur right
now. As I look back on it, it was a really good time. I was young, I was inexperienced, I didn't know what was going on and I just kind of went with the flow. It was one of the best times of my life.
Being from Canada, what are the biggest adjustments you have made living in the U.S.?
I had to get my visa and that's a pain. I speak French fluently but I just took it in school. I had to adjust my accent a little bit. It's not that I necessarily
forced it, it just kind of happened. I had to get used to a few things but it's not too much different being in the U.S. versus being in Canada.
What is your favorite memory in your young professional career?
When it comes to the minor leagues, I love playing with the guys and being around them. I love playing hard every day. I don't really have any type of
specific memory. The thing that I remember most is draft day when I got picked. That was a really exciting day for me. Ever since then, it's all happened kind of quickly to this point.
What advice would you give to younger players who are drafted high?Just be honest with yourself. Do what feels right in your heart. If you want to go to school, then go to school. If you really want to play professional
baseball, make sure that you make the right decision for yourself. If it's something that you feel like you can stick with for a long time go for it but the Major Leagues are never guaranteed. The odds are always against you so school is probably the safest bet. If I were to give a kid advice that was in my same situation I would say really make a good decision in terms of what school you want to go to, what you want to do in your life other than baseball and be balanced in your mind when it comes to the way you think about things. Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Besides baseball, what sports do you like and which teams do you like to follow?
I like Kobe and the Lakers. My teammates are probably going to give me a hard time for that one. I love watching them though.
What do you usually do in the offseason?
I visit family and friends. I like to go see my family and my little brothers. I usually take a little vacation for a week or so. Last offseason, I didn't have
much time. I had about two months between the end of my season and Spring Training so I didn't really get to do too much. I usually just continue with my training, see family and friends, and go do a little something.
What do you do in your spare time?
I fight a form of martial arts in the offseason but that's just part of my conditioning. I like to do stuff. I like to spend time with my brothers and my family.