Q&A with Russell Raley

We sat down with Staten Island second baseman Russell Raley 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.

PinstripesPlus.com: Who do you think has the most upside on this team and why?

Russell Raley: I'd go with Mitch Hilligoss, he had a great year. Colin Curtis is an outstanding player. I know I'm gonna forget somebody. Wilmer Pino, he also had an outstanding year.

PinstripesPlus: What do you think they need to work on the most in order to develop into big leaguers?

Raley: Pino, he probably just has to get a little more selective. You can't be as much of a free-singer when you get higher up. Curtis, I think he just needs to develop his power more and drive the ball a little more. I think he's got the ability. Both of them. They'll be alright.

PinstripesPlus: Which pitcher on the team do you think has the most potential?

Raley: Kontos and Norton have been dominant. And Ian Kennedy's a great pitcher, too. Seems like all those guys have their own thing about them that makes them go but I think that they really go out there and play hard everyday. It seems like that's the way things go here and set a good example for everyone.

PinstripesPlus: Who do you think is the biggest sleeper prospect on Staten Island, a player that's good and has the upside but doesn't get much attention?

Raley: I'd say Francisco Cervelli, probably. He doesn't get talked about a lot because he's the catcher but he's probably the emotional leader on the team. He's an outstanding player and a guy who's really going to be good down the road I think.

PinstripesPlus: What will you work on in the off-season?

Raley: I'm going back to school to take some classes and get finished up with that. [For baseball] I'll be doing workouts and things like that, you know. I'm trying to get healthy, first of all. I've got to heal up the hamstring and come back healthy and ready to go, re-energized.

PinstripesPlus: What would you say is the strongest part of your game?

Raley: I'd have to say focus. My focus might be the strongest part. I think I'm good at concentrating and focusing on the task at hand.

PinstripesPlus: How would you describe your season?

Raley: Well, we were where everyone wants to be at the end of the year, so that's nice. Individually, I came here and learned a lot about playing at the professional level.

PinstripesPlus: You hit .338 this year but you did miss a lot of games. Do you think you'll have to repeat the level or do you think you'll be promoted?

Raley: I have no idea. That's not my decision so I'll just go with whatever the team decides to do.

PinstripesPlus: To give our fans a better idea of the type of player you are, who would you compare your game to at the Major League level and why?

Raley: I don't know. It's not something I've ever thought of and I wouldn't know who to compare myself to. So, I can't really answer.

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