We last caught up with Brandon Barnes following the 2010 season, talking about his season and plans for the off-season. Seems like a good time to do it again. Thanks to Brandon for answering these.
AC: When we talked to you last, you were planning on going on vacation with the wife. How was your off-season?
BB: Yes, my wife and I went on a little vacation in Palm Springs - just wanted to go somewhere and relax for a week and spend some quality time together. We hung out at the pool, played a little golf, and just relaxed. My off-season was awesome, filled with a lot of hard work - working on my strength, speed, and, of course, my swing. The most exciting part of this off season is that my wife and I found out that we are expecting our first child.
AC: How do you, personally, balance the need to rest up from a long season and not losing too much of your edge during the Winter?
BB: Balancing my rest is very easy: I just hang out for the first month spending a lot of my time with my wife. But this year was a little different, since I was going to the Arizona Fall League. I am a huge believer in the weight room, so even in my rest period I am still doing some kind of cardio and light lifting. But I do not pick up a bat until mid December.
AC: You mentioned playing in the Arizona Fall League after the season was over. What is the atmosphere like there, and is it different from the regular season?
BB: The AFL is a little different from the regular season in that it is more laid back. It's about going in, getting your work in, and showing the scouts what you can bring to the table. You knew everyday you were gonna face a pitcher that was a top prospect or looking to break into the big leagues. It's was some of the most fun I have ever had playing this game. I just wanted to go out there, have fun, and show people what I could do.
AC: For those of us who follow the ins and outs of Spring Training, what was a typical day like in Camp?
BB: A typical day for me was waking up around 6:00am to eat and watch "Saved by the Bell." I would get to the field around 7:15 to get in the weight room, so I could maintain my strength through ST and the season. After lifting I would go to the cage to do some tee work or soft toss to work on my swing - nothing too intense. Stretch is around 9:00am, then we go into our practice routine and after grab some lunch before heading out to the field for games that are scheduled for 1:00pm most days. I would go home, take a nice nap, eat some dinner, and go to bed. I am huge on getting my sleep so I can be prepared for the next day.
AC: What are your goals/some things you'll be working on this season?
BB: My goals for the season are very simple: go out, have fun, do what I can do, and help my team win baseball games. I feel like if I set goals and don't achieve them, I had a bad season no matter what the goals are, so I just want to do what I know I'm capable of doing. This game is already hard enough so setting goals - just puts more pressure on myself. I just want to work on becoming a better more consistent baseball player.
AC: Any idea where you'll start the season?
BB: I believe I will be starting the season at Corpus Christi, but not 100% yet.
Big thanks to Brandon, and congratulations are in order on his impending child!