"I'd like to hit .300."
Despite being limited to a less than full time role here in 2005, Hector Zamora still appears to be a valuable looking hitting prospect. PinstripesPlus.com got a chance to chat with Hector about his 2005 season, his future, and much more in an exclusive interview.
PinstripesPlus.com: First of all, Hector, are you satisfied with how you have performed so far this season with Tampa?
Hector Zamora: Well, you know, I'm doing the best I can for now. It was not my expectation to be hitting the way I'm hitting right now, that's for sure. I hoped to be doing much better than I have been so far. But, I work hard every day of the season, looking to get better. So hopefully these last couple months of the season, I hit like an All-Star player the rest of the way. That's all I can really hope for at this point.
PinstripesPlus.com: After seemingly being stuck in Staten Island for two years, is it extra satisfying for you to make it up to High A ball this season?
Hector Zamora: Definitely. It is a better feeling to know that I'm moving up the ladder in the organization. I just have to try and play as well as I can and try to keep moving up every season. I just need to show that I can play good, consistent baseball so I can make my way through the organization. That's the most important thing for my career at this point in time. Right now, I have to have the feeling that no matter where I play, I'm going to do well.
PinstripesPlus.com: Do you feel that you have made important strides over the past year that the organization has seen, allowing them to make the decision to move you up the organizational ladder?
Hector Zamora: Yeah, I think so. Sure. I've had to battle through some injuries and still try to continue my game through those times as well. And, I think that big strides are experience. I just need to play my game day by day and become a better ballplayer. And, I think that's what I've done the last year. If you want to talk level by level, getting up to this point is something to be proud of, definitely. But, I have bigger things in mind.
PinstripesPlus.com: What is the biggest thing that you would like to improve on in your all around game?
Hector Zamora: My hitting. It would have to be my hitting. It has been my strength in the past, but I just have to keep working at it and working at it. And, hard works is always going to pay off. And, that's what I'm hoping for the rest of the way.
PinstripesPlus.com: Moving up a level is always a little bit difficult, to say the least. But, moving up two levels can be even more difficult. What do you feel has been the most difficult adjustment for you to make so far?
Hector Zamora: Uh, yeah, the pitching is a little more advanced. There's no doubt about that. These guys are a little bit more in control of their pitches. The off speed stuff is more advanced overall and they just have more command. They're around the corners of the plate, more often than not, with real good stuff. And, to me, that's where I have to make the adjustment.
PinstripesPlus.com: Are there any personal goals that you strive for every season or something that you have to motivate yourself?
Hector Zamora: Oh definitely. Every year, I'd like to hit .300 or like .325 would be even better. I like to drive in as many runs as I can, draw a lot of walks and get on base. If I'm doing that, I'm doing everything I can to help the team win.
PinstripesPlus.com: Overall, how would you describe your approach at the plate? What type of hitter would you classify yourself as?
Hector Zamora: Well, basically, I go up there and look for a pitch in my zone. If I don't get that pitch, I take it and I'm not afraid to draw a walk. If I get my pitch, I put a good swing on it and try to drive the ball. Most of the time, I don't miss my pitch.
PinstripesPlus.com: Talking about defense now, would you consider yourself a strong defensive player? What improvements would you like to make on defense?
Hector Zamora: Yeah, I think I'm a strong defensive player. But, of course, I always want to get better. If I can keep improving in each part of my game that would be great. Improving all the time, is the best way to get to the big leagues.