from C. Trent:
The Reds' first-round pick in 2006 out of Texas, outfielder Drew Stubbs was recently ranked by Baseball America as the organization's third-best prospect. Stubbs started last season at Class A Sarasota, batting .261/.366/.406 before being promoted to Class AA Chattanooga where he got better with the competition, hitting .315/.400/.402 and then moved up to Class AAA Louisville, where he continued to perform well, hitting .293/.354/.480. Stubbs recently answered a couple of questions for 1530Homer.com and C. Trent Rosecrans through e-mail.
CTR: Drew, first of all, thanks for answer the questions. Congrats on a good 2008 season, your numbers seemed to improve with the competition, can you explain that?
DS: I was able to find consistency with myself both offensively and defensively during the last few months of the season. My success was a combination of this along with realizing that I was playing the same game that I had been playing for years, only the players were older. Finding that comfort zone is key.
CTR: What was the biggest difference when you moved up levels?
DS: The biggest difference to me was that guys were more experienced and thus had a better idea of what they were trying to do. Pitchers commanded pitches better and hitters capitalized on mistakes more often. I was able to adjust to these transitions and fall into sync.
CTR: What kind of goals do you have for this spring training and what does an invite to the big league camp mean to you?
DS: The camp invite was huge for me. I was very excited to get a chance to show what I can do in that environment. My goals are just to go out and have fun ultimately while showing my abilities on the field. I think everyone relishes their first invite.
CTR: With playing in the Arizona Fall League, it seems like you didn't get much of an off-season, but what did you gain from playing in the AFL?
DS: The AFL gave me a chance to compete against some of the best young players in baseball. It was a great experience to be able to see how everyone handled themselves, and I also got to meet a lot of great guys.
CTR: You also blogged during the AFL, how'd you enjoy that? (And please don't let my bosses in on the secret about how easy it is) And any thoughts about continuing to blog during the regular season?
DS: That was the first time I had ever participated in a blog. I enjoyed the experience somewhat because it was neat to chronicle my experience and was also non-demanding since we logged once a week. I might consider doing it during the season on a less often basis.
CTR: Finally, you really think your Longhorns could have beaten Florida? C'mon man, the Big 12 was overrated...
DS: Big 12 was not overrated! OU is notorious for flopping in bowl games after having a month of downtime. It was clear throughout the year that we had some of the best teams in the nation. I'll usually agree that the SEC is a stronger overall conference, but this year I disagree. Florida looked good in the championship game, but I would've liked to have seen our matchup.