O'Brien wants to work on his defense at third
We sat down with Staten Island third baseman Tim O'Brien for a Q&A session to get his thoughts on his season, which position player he believes has the highest upside, which pitcher he thinks has the most potential, what he plans on doing this offseason, and more.
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PinstripesPlus.com: What did you think of your season this year? How do you think it went for you?
Tim O’Brien: It’s gone pretty well. It’s a little different adjustment to the wood bat. I’ve never really played summer ball where I’ve had to use the wood bat. So it’s a little adjusting. There are ups and downs to everyone’s season. I’m starting to feel better about it.
PinstripesPlus: What would you say is your biggest strength as a ball player? What do you bring to the field and to your team?
O’Brien: I think my work ethic. I work really hard to prepare for the field. I’ve been working on my defense a lot. This is my first year playing third base, so it’s been a bit of a transition. It was my first year in college. I caught up until freshman year of college, then I played left field, then I played first base for two years, then I played third.
PinstripesPlus: Heading into the offseason, what do you need to work on the most to be ready for next season and what will you be doing to work on it (specifically)? What's your biggest weakness right now?
O’Brien: I have to say plate discipline. Start swinging at better pitches in better counts, that’s one thing I’d like to work on.
PinstripesPlus: To give our fans a better idea of the type of player (pitcher) you are, who would you compare your game to at the Major League level and why?
O’Brien: I don’t know. I can’t think of one. I’d like to say [I try to be like] Alex Rodriguez, but not so lately, but yeah, like him. Just the way he carries himself. He’s got a little suave in him. You need that. The fans want him to be slamming bats when he gets out, but you don’t need to that. And his approach at the plate, when he’s going well.
PinstripesPlus: Which position player on the Staten Island team do you think has the highest ceiling and why? What do you like about his game and what do you think he needs to work on the most in order to develop into a big leaguer?
O’Brien: I’d say Francisco Cervelli, behind the plate. He’s got a good arm and he runs the game better than any catcher I’ve been around. And I don’t know. Maybe with the bat a little bit, he could use some work, but behind the plate, he’s solid.
PinstripesPlus: Which pitcher on Staten Island do you think has the highest big league upside and why?
O’Brien: I’d say George Kontos. He’s a good pitcher. He’s a competitor. When he comes in the dugout and coach says ‘you’re done,’ he gets on his back a little bit, saying ‘I want to stay in there. I want more.’ That’s something you like to see. Pitchers wanting to stay in, not coming out because they’ve had six scoreless.
PinstripesPlus: Who do you think is the biggest sleeper prospect, position prospect or pitcher? Who do you think will fly under the radar, doesn't get the attention he deserves, but will become a quality big leaguer? Give reasons why.
O’Brien: Maybe Kevin Smith. He works hard. He’s a good defensive player and he swings the bat well. He got a good shot [on September 5th when Smith hit a long home run], but when he’s going well, he makes things happen.
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