Editor’s Note: This is the second half of Devin Sparks’ interview with Padres’ first round draft selection Trea Turner. The interview took place on August 21st, 2014. If you missed Part One, that was published one week ago, you can click here.~BB
DS: Was it difficult to make the transition from a metal bat in college to a wooden bat in the minors?
TT: It was a big difference. I’ve broken quite a few bats in pro ball because you don’t realize how much you have to square up on the ball in order to not break a bat. If you barrel up on the ball with a wooden bat there’s a good chance that it might break. Also finding a model that fits you is something that I really believe in. Having a bat that is too heavy or too light can cause problems, so finding a model is one of the things that I’ve tried to do to fit my swing. I got my bats in right before I left for Fort Wayne. I don’t know if that’s a coincidence, but I kind of believe that had something to do with it.
DS: Coming off of a College World Series Championship and going early in the draft, were you looked at as a veteran in Fort Wayne?
TT: I just try to go about my business and work hard and keep my mouth shut. I try to take on a lead by example role. I just like to compete and try to win and hopefully people admire that and try to do the same. There’s a lot of pressure as a first rounder and I have taken that on as a challenge. I try not to worry about who went in what round. It doesn’t matter if they went in the first round or the fortieth round. If a guy can play, he can play.
DS: Is there someone who contributed to your success at the plate this year?
TT: You can always watch your teammates and take bits and pieces from each player and try to use it to help yourself out. You know Bauers has a great approach, and sometimes I’ll talk to him about his approach, but mostly it’s been the coaches. They have worked with me on my swing. Not trying to make me a robot. If they see something I’m doing wrong they mention something and If I’m doing well they just leave me alone. Just trying to stay consistent and put a good swing on the ball. I learned a lot from my coaches in college as well.
DS: Growing up in Florida, were you a fan of the Marlins or Rays growing up?
TT: I was a Florida Marlins fans for a long time. I went to the 2003 World Series. As I got older I started to focus more on players and admire players more so than the team.
DS: Who is a player that you admired growing up, or have modeled yourself after?
TT: Growing up I loved Ken Griffey Jr. I don’t necessarily play like him because he was an outfielder and he hit BOMBS. But, I really liked the way he played and had fun and went about his business. I also really like Derek Jeter. I like him more so for how he is as a person. He goes about his business and doesn’t get in trouble and he’s also a great player. Those are the two players I really look up to.
DS: Who is the best player in baseball right now?
TT: Troy Tulowitski. I like the way he plays. Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera are two of the best as well. One of those three. You can probably put their names in a hat and pick one out. It’s hard to crown one of them.
DS: If you were starting a Major League Baseball team today would you build it around one of those three guys?
TT: Pitching usually beats good hitting, as much as I’d want to pick one of those three because I’m an offensive player. But I’d probably have to go with Kershaw or Felix Hernandez. You can always count on them to put your team in a position to win.
DS: Kershaw looks like he might have the MVP award all wrapped up. Should pitchers be allowed to win the MVP award?
TT: I don’t necessarily think they should. Every once in a while a guy might come along who has a great year that should get it. Position players play every day, and someone who goes out there and helps your team win every single day is the Most Valuable Player in my mind. But every year is different.
DS: Do you get a chance to watch the MLB with your schedule?
TT: Anytime I turn on the TV. I turn it to ESPN and get to watch the highlights. I always follow what’s going on and watch Baseball Tonight.
DS: If you were starting a Major League Baseball team with one of your teammates in Fort Wayne, who would it be?
TT: I would go with Kyle Lloyd. He’s probably our ace. He’s pitched very well for us and I think he’s leading the league in strike outs right now. It seems like every time he goes out there he’s only giving up one run and he gives our team a great chance to win the game. He’s a pretty good pitcher.
DS: What’s your favorite MiLB team name?
TT: The Chihuahuas are a pretty funny name. I saw those jerseys with the giant chihuahua on the front. I’d probably have to go with them. There are some interesting teams out there, but that one wins.
DS: Do you follow the Padres?
TT: Yes. I follow them. I follow stuff on Twitter and read stuff from time to time. I’ll go out to eat and if they’re on I’ll watch them.
DS: Do you play MLB The Show?
TT: Oh yeah. Me and my roommates are always playing.
DS: What would your stats be in the game as a minor leaguer right now?
TT: Speed: 80’s – 90’s, Contact: mid 60’s-70’s, Power: 40’s-50’s, Defense: somewhere in the 70’s
DS: When you eventually get called up to the Majors what number would you like to wear?
TT: I wore 8 in college, and I’ve worn 3 my whole life so probably one of those two. Just having a jersey would be pretty nice.