Saturday, July 9, 2011

Interview with Madison Boer

Madison Boer was the Twins 2nd round pick (87th overall) in the June First-Year Player Draft. He is a right handed pitcher out of the University of Oregon. He has recently reported to the Elizabethton Twins, their Single-A Short Season team, to begin his pro career. He was kind enough to take some time to answer a few questions.

Kevin Lewis: Madison, lets start with your younger days as a baseball player. What made you decide to follow baseball as your career path? Did you ever consider any other sports as you were growing up and heading towards high school and later Oregon?

Madison Boer: I knew my best shot at making it to the highest level was baseball because I genuinely enjoyed practicing and doing anything with baseball. I didn't have the football mentality, I don't get super amped up like that, i just wasn't wired that way.

KL: Growing up, who was your inspiration and led you towards the baseball career? Who was your favorite team and player to follow?

MB: I used to watch Braves games on TBS all summer. When I was younger I played third base as well as pitching. My two favorite players were Greg Maddux and Chipper Jones. Greg Maddux and John Smoltz are my two favorite pitchers.

KL: Walk us through the day you got drafted by the Minnesota Twins. Did you have any idea you were going to go in the 2nd round?

MB: I was just watching the online feed at my girlfriend's parents house and my parents were there also. I started eating breakfast because I wasn't expecting to be taken for a whole round yet. All of a sudden, my parents started yelling and got all excited and I was still eating my pancakes when I asked what happened. They said, "the Twins picked you!!!! 2nd Round!" and we just started celebrating and my phone started blowing up.

KL: Following up with the previous question. How much does it mean to be drafted by the Minnesota Twins, being that you grew up in Eden Prairie, a very athletic high school in Minnesota?

MB: I was wondering for a long time, most of my life, what it would feel like to put on a professional jersey and I couldn't have felt more comfortable than to put a Twins jersey on.

KL: You quickly signed with the Twins and reported to Elizabethton to begin your pro career and you quickly notched your first victory. You actually recorded your first victory in your first appearance. How much of a confidence builder was that and could you just describe the moment you were called in from the bullpen.

MB: I wasn't nervous but excited to get my feet wet. Pitching is what I do and it's what I want to do with my life so I just went out to the mound and pitched how I knew I could. Luckily, we took the lead the following half inning and I got a victory.

KL: You throw a fastball that hits the high 80s and then also have a slider and curveball in our arsenal. If you were asked to give a scouting report on yourself, what would you say your strengths are and what could you improve upon as you make your way through the Twins system?

MB: Well that’s what I threw in High School. I have dropped the curveball to focus on a change up, and I have the slider and fastball still. With the strength and conditioning program at Oregon along with just simply getting more physically mature I now sit in the low 90's and can touch the mid 90's. The most important thing in pro ball is getting better everyday. The minor leagues are a long process and at this level everybody is very good. The only way you can separate yourself is to come to the field everyday and get better at something.

KL: The last thing I always ask players is that if you had the opportunity to talk to a group of young kids who aspire to become professional baseball players, what one piece of advice would you give them?

MB: I would say that you have to think about whats important to you? If it’s baseball, are you going somewhere to hit everyday. Eden Prairie has an excellent year round hitting facility called "Players Only." It is a great place that offers much more than just batting cages and you can get instruction on hitting and pitching. The single most important thing is being able to sacrifice free time to go practice, because if you really want to be a ballplayer you have to know whats important and make the right decisions on and off the field.

KL: I would like to thank Madison for taking time out of his busy life, as he begins his pro career, to answer a few questions about his journey to the draft and his future as a Twin. Hopefully one day we will see you back in Minnesota and on the mound at Target Field.

MB: Thank you, I appreciate it.

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