In a Q&A with Friars on Base, Padres outfielder Will Venable answered questions about his goals for 2014, and his breakout 20/20 season last year. Venable’s winning attitude shines through not only in the Q&A, but also in the hustle and intensity he brings to the ballpark everyday. His diving catch against the San Francisco Giants on June 17th, 2013 symbolizes his desire to make plays, and help the Padres win games.
What are your goals for the 2014 season? (Team and Individual)
My goals for this year are the same as every year, get into the playoffs, and give our team a chance to win a championship. Any personal achievements that come along the way are great, but winning is the best feeling there is, and that’s what I will be chasing this year.
How do you prepare during the offseason? How do you split your time between strength training, and hitting and fielding practice?
My offseason is typically started with a few weeks of resting my body before I start some cardio. When we get into November, I’ll begin some strength training, but won’t start the serious stuff until December. January is the start of my baseball work, and I will spend my days hitting and throwing after my workouts. As we get closer to spring training, I back off the intensity of the strength training, and increase my baseball activities. The most important element of my offseason is the work I put in making sure my body is functioning properly. Throughout the entire offseason, I spend time doing exercises and checking in with physical therapists to make sure all the little muscles are firing the right way. If I’m not healthy, it doesn’t matter how strong I am.
You had a .315/.357/.549 slash after the All-Star break in 2013. I noticed you spoke about having rhythm at the plate, were there other reasons for your post All-Star break success?
Rhythm was a key for me this season, but even going back to the minor leagues, I always seem to have much stronger second halves. I’m not sure why that is.
June 17th, 2013, San Francisco: Two-outs, bottom of the 12th, runner on second, Juan Perez hits a fly ball to you in centerfield. What were your thoughts during the play, and immediately after you made the game-saving catch?
I had a couple opportunities earlier in that game to get some bunts down and help us push a run across, and I didn’t get the job done. So before the ball was hit to me, I was intent on making a play if I had an opportunity. When the ball was hit, all I was thinking was what all outfielders think, go get it. Once the play was made, I was just happy to give us another opportunity after not doing my job earlier in the game.
You had kind words to say about former Padres bench coach Rick Renteria after he became the manager of the Chicago Cubs. Will you look forward to playing the Cubs at home on May 22nd to 25th?
I loved playing for Renteria, and I know he’ll have a great impact on that team. Even though we’ll be going at it on the field, I look forward to any opportunity to talk to Ricky.
Besides Petco, do you have a favorite ballpark, and why?
Just having an opportunity to play in a major league stadium is something I appreciate, but I haven’t felt anything like playing at Fenway. There is a spirit of baseball there unlike anywhere else I’ve played.
You were an excellent basketball player at Princeton, are you allowed to play pickup games with your teammates? If so, who can hang with you on the court?
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any basketball for me in a long time. The last time I got up and down the court was in college.
More articles about Will Venable: