Q and A With Myke Jones

Mycal Jones (or Myke, as he goes by) was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 4th round of the 2009 draft. Since then, Myke has been working hard to move up through the ranks, as he spent the 2011 season playing for Double-A Mississippi. Myke Jones took the time recently to answer my questions:

1.) At what age did you first become interested in baseball? Did you always want to be a shortstop?

For as long as I can remember I’ve always loved baseball, although I didn’t start playing until I was 4. I started off in T-ball as a catcher so that tells you right there that I really don’t care where I play, just as long as I’m on the field.

2.) Who was your favorite player growing up? Why?

I would have to say Ozzie Smith, although I also loved Deion Sanders but that had more to do with football. I’ve played mostly shortstop all my life so I looked up to Ozzie and wanted to make all the great plays he made.

3.) Did you play any other sports besides baseball growing up? If so, why did you decide to go with baseball?

My parents finally let me venture out into football and basketball in 7th grade, and love playing both to this day. I decided to give up both in 11th grade when I was only 5’8″, 145 pounds and realized there aren’t too many guys that size in the NBA and NFL.

4.) You were drafted by the Braves in the 2009 draft. Where were you when you found out? Initial thoughts?

I was actually working a baseball camp at my old school, UNF, and went into the coaches office to listen to the draft during lunch. To be honest, I don’t remember what my initial thoughts were because it didn’t really hit me until I met with the scout to sign my contract.

5.) What do you think went well this season? What do you feel you need to work on for 2012?

I believe my biggest improvement this past season was my ability to get on base even with my batting average being so low. This upcoming season I look to improve on my base stealing and small ball game (bunting and situational hitting).

6.) You ended 2011 playing winter ball in Panama. What was the major difference of playing in Panama, than in America? What was the overall experience like? And would you consider playing Panamanian Winter baseball again?

The biggest difference in Panama was the amount of off-speed pitches they throw. For the first time in my life, I was thrown a curveball on the first pitch of the game. I had a blast down there playing and wouldn’t mind going back, but would rather go somewhere else just to say I did it.

7.) Favorite TV show?

Right now my favorite TV show would have to be Hawaii 5-0. It’s really the only one I follow on a weekly basis.

8.) Favorite food?

My mom is a beast in the kitchen, so anything she cooks is my fave. Other than that I would go with sushi.

9.) What’s the most memorable moment of your baseball career thus far?

It would definitely have to be hitting leadoff in a Spring Training game last year, in front of guys like Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, and Alex Gonzalez. Chipper was one of my faves growing up because he played on my favorite team and was also from Jacksonville, FL. It was definitely memorable to hit in front of a future Hall of Famer.

10.) Lastly, what advice would you give to kids who are just starting out, that dream of playing professional baseball one day?

To hustle on and of the field at all times, practice hard and play hard, but most importantly it is just a game so make sure you have fun.

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Big thanks to Myke Jones for taking the time to answer my questions.

You can follow him on twitter: @MykeJones21

Catching You Up On What’s to Come

As the title implies, this entry is meant to give you a general idea of what to expect over the next month or so of the blog. First of all, I’m going to do my best to start blogging at least once every few days. No more week long droughts between entries. Of those blog entries, every Saturday’s entry will be a Q and A entry, unless something big happens in the baseball world. As far as the day to day blogging goes, it all depends on the latest baseball news, however, I do have a general idea of some of my blog entries to come:

  • Tomorrow, I’m going to post the Q and A I did with Myke Jones, of the Atlanta Braves organization.

 

  • Coming up sometime next week, I’m going to do an entry on the players that I’m planning to send out autograph requests to, during Spring Training.

 

  • Then, sometime during March (before S.T. is over) I’m going to do publish my 2012 MLB Predictions blog entry. I was planning on doing it sometime this month, but I decided to wait until closer to the regular season.

 

  • Also, on April 4th, I’m going to post an entry on the Cleveland Indians exhibition game against my local Minor League team.

So there you have it. I hope you continue to read. Without you, the readers, I’d have no reason to blog at all. So, thanks.

Too Long of Deals In MLB

I sit here still dumbfounded by the deal the Tigers made with Prince Fielder. I mean come on; 214 million over 9 years? That’s a bit much for me, as I would of offered no more than a 5-year deal. There’s too much uncertainty as to whether or not he’ll be the same caliber player he is now, several years down the road. In the short term, I feel the signing of Fielder is great for the Tigers. Add him in with their Ace Justin Verlander, and I feel the Tigers could be a 100 game winning team this year. But that’s this year. The further down the road you go, the older Verlander gets, and the older Fielder gets, and subsequently, the less games the Tigers win. Now you might be saying, “But he’s only 27 years old”; yes, that’s true. Fielder is in the prime of his career, and his contract runs out when he’s only 37 years old, but you can’t tell me that he’ll hit 38 home runs, and drive in 120 like he did last season, for everyone of those years. As you get older, you start to slow down. It’s the way your body works. 9 years is outragious to me.

I bring this up only because I was looking at players salaries for the 2012 season, and wondering if any of them were actually making what they’re worth to their team. Let me use Alex Rodriguez as an example. (This ties back into too long of a deal for Prince Fielder). The Yankees signed A-rod to a 10-year, 275 million dollar deal when he was 32 years old. Now that he’s 36, he’s starting to slow down. (Or at least it appeared that way last season, as he was injured a lot.) Now, supposedly, Rodriguez has been taking those “miracle” treatements like Kobe Bryant took during the offseason. Watching Bryant, and comparing him to last season, he appears to be healthier (injury wise) than he’s been the past couple seasons. If the treatements work for A-rod, like they worked for Kobe, he could shock us all, and hit 30 home runs, and drive in 100, in the 2012 season, but I just don’t see that happening. Although Fielder was a lot younger than Rodriguez when he inked his massive deal, I still feel that the Tigers are making a mistake in the long run.

In the end, it’s not really the amount of money that gets me. What gets me is the length of the deals. It’s one thing to bring a young 22 year old guy up from the minor leagues and sign him to a 10-year deal, but signing a 27 year old to a nine year deal just doesn’t make sense to me. The only upside for the Tigers is that Prince plays in 99% of the season’s games. But that’s likely to change as he gets older.

DJ4K – Derek Jeter’s Quest To 4,000 Hits?

As I sat on my couch last night, watching MLB Network, a very valid questions was posed by the network analysts of whether or not Derek Jeter has a shot of getting to 4,000 hits, or better yet, the even bigger milestone of passing the all-time hit leader, Pete Rose. Rose, who had a total of 4,256 hits in his career, is currently over 1,000 hits ahead of Jeter, who has 3,088 hits to show for his 17-year career. No chance of him getting over 1,000 hits before he retires, right? Well, although it’s an uphill climb for Jeter, the idea of Jeter getting at least to 4,000 hits isn’t out of the question. When you compare Jeter to Rose, in terms of hits through 2,426 games, Jeter is 22 hits ahead of Rose. A pace I feel he can keep up.

Jeter recorded 162 hits this past season alone, and if he can keep up an average of at least 150 hits a season, he could get to 4,000 hits in 6-years time. That’d put him at 4,000 career hits by his 24th season; or age 43. Though Jeter is already considered old (by baseball standards) Rose didn’t retire until age 45. Add two extra seasons onto Jeter’s career and you end up with roughly 20 hits more than Rose had in his career. I’m not saying that it’s extremely likely that Jeter will pass Rose, I’m just saying that it’s more likely than people are giving Jeter credit for. Jeter does an incredible job in his at-bats of fouling off tough pitches for one he can loop over an infielders head for a base hit. It’s this skill that I feel will lead him to a 4,000 (or more) hit career.

So, do you agree, or disagree with me? Do you think Jeter is on track to a 4,000 hit career? Maybe even more? Let me know: