San Diego Padres prospect Taylor Trammell sits down with East Village Times to talk about the game of baseball.
EVT: I Know you said you’ve never been to California but have you ever been to Texas?
TT: Yeah, I’ve been once; one of my good friends goes to Baylor. I flew into DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth) they picked me up, and we drove to Waco.
EVT: First night as a Sod Poodle and Trevor Hoffman is here. Did you get a chance to talk to him as two former reds prospects?
TT: No, I just introduced myself to him, and we really didn’t talk too much. He came up and said, “Hey, I’m Trevor. Nice to meet you.” I said, “Pleasure to meet you as well” and kind of left it at that. It’s just one of those things where I’ve seen him when I was younger, and I respect him as a player and as a person. It was a really good time to meet him and see him. I think he kind of saw everybody getting ready for the game, so he just stepped to the side and watched everybody play.
EVT: We need to to address the trade that got you here in Amarillo. We know the crazy way Jesse Winker found out about it. Where were you when you were told about the deal? And what was your reaction?
TT: I actually came out of the game in the last inning. After I came out, I was like what in the world is going on? Everybody was smiling and stuff. I’m thinking I got called up to Triple-A or something like that. I had no idea. The first thing that went through my mind was somebody is playing a joke on me. I didn’t know what was going on, people were clapping for me, and I was like what in the world? After that, my manager “PK” (Pat Kelly) came up to me and said- Hey congratulations you’ve been traded. I was like, what? He said yeah you’ve been traded. I was like alright, I had to go through that whole inning thinking about what was going to happen. After that, I was talking to Scott Moss, and we were making predictions on who it was. I didn’t want to know until we got back into the locker room. I saw a whole bunch of texts, and they were congratulations and things like that. I still didn’t see anything, so I called my agent and said give me the scoop. He said- The Padres, and I said- Let’s go.
EVT: How did you approach the deadline? Did you have any idea that you could be moved?
TT: I had no idea. I wasn’t really on my phone much. I think I was just watching YouTube videos for the week of the deadline. I didn’t really know anything. I think some people knew more stuff than I did, but I had no idea at all.
EVT: Happy to get that first hit with the new club out of the way?
TT: Oh yeah, it was nice. Baseball is a funny sport. It originally went up as an error from what I was told, and then somebody came up and said dude we are getting that changed to a hit. I really don’t care as long as I got the job done. I think the hit got Buddy (Reed) to third, but I got the job done, so I was just happy about that. Other than that, you really don’t think too much about it. But at the end of the day, I was like oh cool. First, hit.
EVT: You were a two-sport start in high school. What was a crazier college recruiting process… Football or baseball?
TT: That’s a good question. I think baseball, simply because I care for it a little bit more and I got more recruiting stuff done and out of the way for baseball my sophomore and junior year. Then football happened my senior year. I played carefree and everything like that. It was kind of like -thanks but no thanks for some of the schools. I was already going to Georgia Tech for baseball and possibly football. So it was one of those things where I really didn’t take football seriously.
EVT: You don’t have a lot of time to practice. How important are simple things like shagging fly balls in batting practice important in improving your game?
TT: First of all, it’s very important because you go through the season trying to figure out things to improve on. I think when you play every day, it’s pretty much a practice — figuring out what you need to work on and all those things that go along with it. For example like yesterday, that was a learning moment for me, you know? I got doubled up on a line drive that I thought goes over his head. I get doubled up on when I should have just froze. I take it as a practice moment for me. Practicing is working on things that you need to learn from. That was something I need to learn so that it doesn’t happen in the future.
EVT: You said something very curious in an interview. You said, “I can tell I’m locked by the way I’m taking pitches. Can you walk me through that?
TT: So if I’m seeing the ball into the catcher mitt… it’s kind of hard to describe… you ever heard the term spitting on pitches? So yeah if I’m spitting on pitches or I’m just seeing the ball out of the pitcher’s hand really well, I know I’m locked in right now. Then walks go up and on-base goes up, and guys get more RBIs. It’s like I help the team out a lot more when I’m on base, so it gives me a chance to help those guys get their numbers up and get them better pitches if I’m on base. When I’m locked in, then I’m looking at pitches, and I’m like (saying in my mind) I don’t even want to deal with that cause I know what you’re trying to do.
EVT: Even in the little time I’ve had to watch you, I can tell you take great pride in your plate vision. Is that your favorite aspect of your game?
TT: I think defense probably would be my favorite aspect of the game. I’m a guy that is a team guy; I don’t want guys to think I’m a selfish player. I never want that. I want guys to know that when I’m out there, it’s like a safety net. They know I’m never going to give up on them or anything like that. I feel like when I’m at the plate that’s me. But when you’re on defense, and you hold those runners from going first to third or second to home or even just first to second that’s one of the things I take pride in. If a guy gets a blooper hit and I can keep him off second to help our pitcher because he deserves to not have that guy on second because of the weak hit. That’s just some of the things I take pride in — the little things on defense. The defense is something that people only see the big bad plays, but I think it’s the little things on defense that make it special.