The Baseball Observer Nov-Dec 2015 vol 5 - Page 35

wanted me to do if I came there. The way he handled everything from the time I met him to the time I got on campus was just what I was looking for in a coach and a school. IT WAS THE RIGHT FIT. I wouldn’t change the way things happened for anything else. Q: What did you noticed first about the players you play with and against once you started playing college baseball? A: Once I started playing college ball, the first thing I noticed from the players were they were bigger, faster, and stronger than in high school. It took some time to get adjusted, but you have to be a quick learner because you battle every day to stay in the lineup. Q: What does your typical “non-game day” look like for you? A: A non-game day: wake up at 6am. 7am. Is work outs. Then, from 8:30-2:50 classes. 3:00-5:30pm practice. From 7pm to whenever I do homework and study. I eat when I can in between that and socialize if I have time. Being a student athlete takes hard work and dedication. Q: You’re there to play baseball, but first is the education. How does the baseball program support your education? A: Tampa is real good about helping the athletes out when and if needed. They provide tutors and study hall time if needed and keep track of your grades so they can get help if needed before it’s too late Q: With all the games baseball play during a season, you miss classes. How do you stay "on top" of that? A: If you are going to miss class because of baseball, I usually talk or email professors and let them know ahead of time then a couple days before remind them about it. They usually understand and you are able to turn in work on a date that they give to you that’s not the date you’re not going to be there. Q: What was the 2015 Championship season like for you? A: Oh, It was a roller coaster ride for sure! We started off hot. We beat the Philadelphia Phillies in a spring training exhibition game. Then hit a rough spot with some injuries and losing games. Then right before playoffs started we got hot and went on a roll! It took everyone coming together to get the job done, even the bench players. Q: How did your experience playing collegiate summer ball going to make you a better player for 2016? A: In college summer ball I was able to work on some areas of the game that I needed to improve on because there is always room for improvement. It will help me be a better player for 2016 because I won’t be as weak in those areas and will be a better player from it, thus helping my team because of that. Q: Were there areas the Tampa coaching staff wanted you to improve upon this summer? A: Yes, I needed to improve on my base running; stealing bases to be more specific. I needed to work on my reaction time stealing. That is the biggest thing I worked on this past summer. Q: What overall advice would you pass on to an incoming freshman baseball player? A: My advice would be ready to work hard. Don’t be afraid to mess up. Don’t come with a big head, prove yourself because nothing is given. Earn respect first and stay hungry. Also, don’t get too involved in the partying. It’s good to have fun, but be smart about it.