Monday, September 12, 2011

Interview with Tri-City Prospect Brandon Meredith

Tri-City ValleyCat outfielder Brandon Meredith took time last week to answer a few questions for us. Brandon has recently done an interview with, so some of these questions follow up to some of his comments there.

What made you want to play baseball? I tried all the sports when I was younger, I just kept with baseball as I like it the most and that's what I felt I had a future in.

What was your favorite team growing up? Favorite player? I loved the Padres as I was growing up. I used to watch them in old Jack Murphy Stadium, also known as Qualcomm. My favorite player when I was younger was either Ken Caminiti or Tony Gwynn.

How did your second experience getting drafted differ from the 1st? I knew that it was much more likely for me to go the second time, although I must say the first was very special because it was a whole new experience. The second time I felt like I was mature enough and ready to start my professional career.

What did you do to celebrate this time? I had a draft party shortly before heading to the ValleyCats; I invited my closest family and friends and we had a good time.

Now that you’ve had a few days to process everything, how do you feel having completed your first professional season? I loved it, the perks of professional baseball are indescribable. I love everything about it, the challenges, the daily grind, the amount of time you spend with your team, I just wish that I could have played more and helped my team.

What’s the best part of minor league life? The worst? The best part is going out everyday to enjoy the game of baseball, to compete everyday and have the opportunity to make money playing the game you love. The worst part is the living conditions but that just comes with the territory, if you dont like it, get better and move up.

What was your favorite moment this year? I think my favorite moment personally was buying the pink jersey I played in for my mom and sending it home to surprise her. It meant a lot to her.

You stated in your interview with that you feel your strengths are hustle, hard work, game knowledge, defense, and patience at the plate. What areas of your game do you see as opportunities to improve? All areas. I would like concentrate in improving on defense and hitting for power. I feel that all areas are available to work on and improve though.

What major league player do you compare yourself to? As of right now I would probably say Marlon Byrd. I am a bigger guy with good speed; don't hit for too much power but a gap to gap guy.

What do you have going on this offseason? I will be heading to instructs on September 19th and be there for a month, but when I get back I would love to take another trip up to San Francisco then start an off season workout program and improve my strength and speed as well as my facets for the game.

Have the Astros given you any indication of its plans for you next year and going forward? No they have not. I'm sure I will have an idea coming out of instructs, but I feel that my progress is solely placed on my hard work from the time I leave instructs to the time I go to spring training.

What teammate do you think will be getting people’s attention in the next few years? I feel that many teammates will be getting attention such as Matt Duffy, Rafael Valenzuela, Drew Muren, Justin Gominsky, and most of all I think the most underrated player on this year's team was Neiko Johnson.

It seems like the younger players, such as yourself, are more in tune with social media outlets like twitter. What do you, as a ball player, feel are the benefits and drawbacks of having that level of fan interaction? I feel the benefits are people get to understand you as an individual, and a person, fans tend to judge you off of play and looks. To fans I may look like an intimidating guy and some may shy away so I take the time to answer questions and be personal to many. The drawbacks are the fact that you are exposed to negativity and criticism, but who doesn't get criticized?

Has the Astros organization given players any guidance concerning the use of social media? They have strong rules against talking about teammates, umpires, coaches, and feelings. You just have to smart in what you put on the internet.

I’ve been bummed about the lack of good baseball nicknames recently. Do you have a nickname? I don't, I just have little ones that I've had throughout my life like Big B, or Freight Train, nothing too exciting.

Brandon was very responsive to our interview request, and is very easy to interact with. Follow him on Twitter @blackdiamondd0