Interview with Houston Astros Prospect and 2011 Draftee: Brandon Meredith
Friday August 5, 2011
MLB reports: On the Reports we love discussing baseball prospects and looking towards the next up-and-coming MLB stars. We especially enjoy talking to the players directly and bringing them to you on the Reports. Today, we are very fortunate to be c0nversing with Brandon Meredith of the Houston Astros. A 6th round selection in this year’s MLB draft, Brandon is in A-ball, currently playing outfield for the Tri-City ValleyCats of the New York-Penn League. With a .379 OBP and 6 stolen bases in only 34 games played, Brandon has certainly hit the ground running. A native of California, Brandon attended San Diego State and played under hall-of-famer Tony Gwynn before getting drafted. One of the nicest young men you will ever meet, Brandon’s future is very bright as a top prospect that will be playing one day for the Houston Astros. Playing in his first professional baseball season, MLB reports is proud to present Brandon Meredith, outfielder for the Houston Astros:
MLB reports: Welcome to MLB reports Brandon. We are very glad that you have been able to join us today. Let’s the hit ground running. Firstly, as a youngster, who was your favorite baseball player growing up, that you most idolized and patterned your game after?
Brandon Meredith: I idolized guys like my coach Tony Gwynn at SDSU (San Diego State) and I loved watching Frank Thomas play the game growing up. But I most pattern my game and like to play like Charlie Hustle (Pete Rose). All hustle, all the time.
MLB reports: You certainly were lucky to learn from Tony Gwynn, considered one of the best hitters that the game has ever seen. From the the current crop of players, which MLB star do you most admire and why?
Brandon Meredith: I like a number of guys, I can’t say that I can pick just one. The players that I most look up to have the same qualities. They bring it every night. They hustle and play the game to win. Those are the guys that I work hard to play like and mold my game around.
MLB reports: What are your proudest accomplishments in baseball thus far Brandon?
Brandon Meredith: My proudest accomplishment is getting drafted and having the chance to play professional baseball. To get to this point and be a part of a major league baseball organization, I have made it much farther already than many players. I truly feel blessed to be able to have this opportunity.
MLB reports: What were your goals going into the 2011 season?
Brandon Meredith: I was excited to get on the field and get into games fairly quickly. I want to learn and grow as an individual, as well as a baseball player. I want to learn the pro-style game of baseball and become strong in every facet of the game. At the end of the day, I want to be able to look back on this season and my career and know that I always gave everything I had and to have no regrets.
MLB reports: When you first found out you were drafted, what were your reactions? Did those reactions change over time? What was the process like being drafted originally by the Rays in 2008 and what were the factors in not signing with Tampa Bay and Houston originally?
Brandon Meredith: When I was drafted this year, my first reaction was to reflect on the time I had at San Diego State. It felt weird to know I was going to sign and not be a part of SDSU any longer. The process was a good one in high school. I learned a lot from being drafted at a young age and being a part of the draft process so early in my life. I learned that a person should not expect too much from the draft process. Let it come from you. The factors that led to me not signing was partially the amount of money involved, but also the fact that I felt that I was not physically and mentally prepared to take on pro-ball before. I wanted to develop as a player and person at the college level and become a professional baseball when the time was right. 2011 turned out to be the right time for me.
MLB reports: What do you consider your greatest baseball skill(s)?
Brandon Meredith: I feel like I am a good and patient hitter. I know the strike zone and have a strong understanding of my swing. Overall, I feel that my biggest skill is my knowledge of the game and the fact that I love to play the game hard, every inning of every game that I am on the field.
MLB reports: What facets of your game do you most wish to improve upon?
Brandon Meredith: No matter how long I play this game, there will always be areas of improvement to bring my game to the next level. I need to improve on arm strength and quickness. I want to be an all-around baseball player, as both defense and offense are important to me. I also work hard on the ability to hit for power, without sacrificing getting on base and stealing bases.
MLB reports: How do strikeouts and walks figure into your game?
Brandon Meredith: I hate striking out first of all. I love to walk more than strikeout and walks will always be a very important part of my game. I like getting on base and making things happen. I am working hard on pitch recognition and knowing my strike zone so that I can cut down on strikeouts, which I look to improving upon as much as I can as I continue to play the game.
MLB reports: Long term what position do you see yourself playing? How do you see defense as part of your overall game?
Brandon Meredith: I can see myself staying in the outfield and playing left field. Defense is a big part of my game. I feel that I am a good outfielder. While I recognize that there are areas that I have to work on, overall I pride myself on being solid defensively. I put a great deal of work on the defensive part of my game and while I can’t promise that a gold glove is in my future, I am definitely working towards being the best outfielder that I can be.
MLB reports: Has pro ball been everything you expected it to be thus far? Tell us about your experiences thus far Brandon.
Brandon Meredith: I truly love being a part of professional baseball. It is the most fun that I have had in my life. Interestingly, it feels so much easier than the college game. I feel more relaxed, both mentally and physically. Now I only have baseball to focus on. The best part is that I have baseball and that’s it. I get to play everyday and love my job. The only downside so far is the cities that we are traveling to are new to me and experiences that take time to get used to. But overall it has been a great experience and ride so far.
MLB reports: With working so hard on the field, chill and down time off the field is very important I’m sure. Who do you most hang out with on the ValleyCats Brandon and what do you do for fun?
Brandon Meredith: I love to be competitive with my teammates. We play everything from call of duty to ping-pong. I hang out with Neiko Johnson, Zachary Johnson, Jacke Healey, Nicholas Tropeano, John Hinson, and Andrew Muren the most.
MLB reports: If you had to look into a crystal ball, when do you see your expected time of arrival in the big leagues and what do you think you need to do most to get there?
Brandon Meredith: I feel that I could potentially be there in three to five years. Playing in Houston for the Astros is what I am working towards and will do everything that I can to make my dream come true. For that to happen long-term, I will to need to hit for more power and work hard on my defense and quickness.
MLB reports: A big thank you to Brandon Meredith on joining us today on the Reports. We wish you the best of luck on your baseball journey to the big leagues. We definitely encourage all our readers to feel free to contact Brandon with your comments and questions on his twitter handle. Brandon loves interacting with the fans and is a must follow!
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