Heya, shamelss plug time.
As some of you might already know, I was recently tapped by Scout.com's Oakland Clubhouse to write weekly Vancouver notebook articles.
Usually these go behind the lock and key of 'Premium Content' (IE: you pay to read), but the Scout folks are pretty good about making sure there's enough free pieces out there as to keep the folks who can't afford happy.
Anyhow, long story short, I interviewed first-rounder Travis Buck last week and sent my piece along to Scout, requesting that they make the interview free to all, because I know a lot of you guys will be keen to read it. To my pleasant surprise, they agreed. So below you'll find a little snippet, but if you want the rest, go to Scout.com and you can read it there.
And while you're at it, consider getting a premium account. It's not a bad deal, as far as I'm concerned.
Q: You took batting practice in Oakland for a day before they shipped you up here, that must have been a little bit of an eye-opener...
Buck: Oh yeah! I went last Friday, I went down and took BP, hung out at the big league club, got a feel for the guys and how they run their organization. It was a lot of fun, there's a whole bunch of young guys in the clubhouse, and they enjoy playing baseball. They know it's a game, you know? They can have fun with it, but when they step on the field, they know it's all about business.
Q: Did anyone from the big club take you under their wing?
Buck: Oh yeah, Mark Kotsay, Swish, being an outfielder I hung out with them a lot and they were great. They just told me to just "do what got you here and you'll be fine," so that's what I'm doing. It was nice to get that chance to see what it's like in the big leagues, and they were really welcoming.
Q: Were you always an outfielder?
Buck: No, actually, I came to Arizona State as an infielder, but we already had some infielders there so they converted me to outfield. This would be about my fourth year in the outfield now. I've still got some things to learn, I think, but I enjoy it. In the end, wherever I'm needed is where I'm happy to play.
Q: How's the transition to wooden bats?
Buck: It's not bad. You know, the last couple of years I've had some chances to hit with wood, so it's a pretty easy transition really. Only thing that I have to work on is seeing good pitching day in and day out, you know, you're not going to have too many thumpers out here. But things are going well right now, I'm swinging well with the wood, and it's all good. I think it matters more for the pitchers than the hitters, to be honest. They can pitch at you hard and not be worried that the ball will go yard on a pop-fly.
More? Click here.