Phillies catching prospect Travis D'Arnaud was selected as a supplemental first round pick in 2007, with the 37th overall pick, out of high school in California. He currently is the starting catcher for the Lakewood BlueClaws and leads the team with 25 RBI. Baseball America ranked Travis as the 7th best prospect in the Phillies organization prior to this season. Fresh off his various dancing performances around FirstEnergy Park in recent days, Travis made time for some questions from PhoulBallz.com.
First, I asked Travis about playing against his brother, West Virginia Power short stop Chase D'Arnaud, at the professional level-
It's an incredible feeling. A feeling I want everyone to feel....being able to play in the same profession. Especially something as hard as baseball. I love it every day. Every second he's out there, I love it. It's kind of like being home away from home, ya know what I mean? And my dad's here too (father Lance attended last week's series between the team in West Virginia and this week's series in New Jersey), so...I feel like I'm at home right now.
I then asked Travis about defending against steals when his brother is on the bases (Chase stole two against Travis on Wednesday), and if Chase is out more often than he's safe-
I think we're evened up now actually. Between this year and last year.
Who were your favorite players growing up?-
I was a Dodger fan. My brother was an Angel fan, I think. I was a Mike Piazza guy.
What kind of help have manager Dusty Wathan and coach Tim Gradoville (two former catchers) been so far this year?
I feel like my defensive game has come along really well. Having two former catchers, who both made the major leagues, here helping (me) with everything is tremendous. When we do drills and stuff, we do it high intensity, so it slows me down, gets me relaxed during the game.
Aside from the coaches who are here, have you met anybody in the system that has helped you a considerable amount?-
When I was in spring training, I hung out with Lou Marson. I hung out with him a lot. He just talked to me about game situations...a lot of stuff. And Tuffy Gosewich, Joel Naughton, and all the former catchers have tought me a lot.
You've been leading the team in RBI for the entire season, but your batting average has suffered. Are you working on anything specifically to improve that?
With the average, I mean, I think I'm just trying to hit the ball too far instead of just staying within myself and getting hits, instead of trying to hit a homerun every time. I need to just relax. I keep telling myself that, but for some reason during the games, it hasn't clicked yet.
When I've spoken with different starting pitchers on the team, they've given you loads of credit when they perform well. How does that make you feel?-
It's one of the best feelings in the world. I would love it for a pitcher to want to throw to me. Some catchers just, ya know, they catch 'cause they can hit, no defensive thing. But, I think catching is more of a defensive position than offensive. But when the whole pitching staff enjoys throwing to you, they feel comfortable, they probably throw better.
Where do you think you might be opening day 2011?-
Where do I want to be? Philly. Two years...I'll probably be in either Lehigh or Reading.
What's your favorite TV show?-
Right now, it's The Hills.