Thanks to Mike Vanderwood of the Dayton Dragons, I was given media credentials for yesterday’s game and had the chance to spend a few minutes talking to the Reds 2005 #1 draft pick, Jay Bruce.
4/8/06 interview with Jay Bruce in the dugout at 5th/3rd Field in Dayton, OH.
Q: WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been your biggest adjustment to pro ball?
A: I think playing every day. Learning how to take care of your body. Learning your limits. Other than that, just getting up every day and playing hard.
Q: Did you have any problems going from aluminum to wood bats?
A: No, I actually like wood a lot better. I think if you hit it on the sweet spot, it goes just as far or farther. Anytime you center up the ball, no matter what kind of bat, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll go.
Q: I know itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only been a couple of games, but what have you seen as the difference between the Gulf Coast League and the Midwest League?
A: Well, one thing, the fans. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a lot better atmosphere.
The pitchers. They have an idea. The GCL, you get a lot of guys that are working on things, need more control, stuff like that. Here, they know what theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re doing. They have an idea of what theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re trying to do in what counts. You just have to be a better hitter all around.
Q: Do you feel any pressure being the #1 draft pick?
A: Not at all. If I was the #1 draft pick or an undrafted free agent IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d go out there and play the same exact way.
Q: Do you have any goals for the year? Would you like to get through Dayton and get to Sarasota?
A: No, Another thing IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve learned in professional ball is that I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t wish to be at a higher level. I have to go out and play every single day, I have to get my at-bats and play well, and everything else will take care of itself.
As far as goals, just be consistent. Also, stay healthy. 140 games is a long season.
Q: You had an ankle problem in ST?
A: Yes, I had an ankle problem, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fine now. Just rolled it.
Q: Do you see yourself staying in center field through your career?
A: I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a preference. Wherever I can help the team IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m with the most. The way I can get to the major leagues the quickest. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all about that, in the big picture. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d love to stay in CF, but they have different plans for me, they have different plans for me.
Q: Do you have much experience in the corners?
A: I do. I played a lot of RF in Billings. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have much in left; I played 1 or 2 games in high school because they needed somebody in LF. I think with practice IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be fine at it, just like everything else.
Q: WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the difference (between center and one of the corners)?
A: Right field, the ball slices a little bit. Comes at you a little different off the bat. But, the same thing with center field and you have a lot more ground to cover. So, thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s good and bad with both. I can definitely improve in both positions also.
Thank you for your time. I really appreciate it.