Steve Susdorf is an outfield prospect for the Phillies, who began the season in extended spring training, rehabbing after hip surgery. He later joined A level Lakewood on Memorial Day before being promoted to advanced A level Clearwater by late June. In early July, Susdorf was named the Phillies minor league player of the month for June. In 40 games with Clearwater, Susdorf batted .371 with a .931 OPS. In early August, Susdorf was promoted to double A Reading, where he finished out the season batting .221 over 21 games.
From the lost tapes file...I had the chance to speak with Steve Susdorf a while back, and that interview lies ahead.
I asked Steve for his thoughts on moving up 3 levels in the minor leagues this season.
Ya know, it's been great so far. I've just been fortunate that everything's worked out and I'm just trying to get quality at bats and just play well.
What is your excitement level like when these calls come in to notify you of promotions?
It's been really exciting every time, especially the one to come to (Reading) 'cause I wasn't really expecting it as much. I had a feeling when I was in Lakewood that there was a possibility, but I didn't expect to be here. And now just to be here, playing with these guys, at this competition level is awesome.
There was a game in Lakewood this season, just after you debuted, where you were hit in the head by a pitch and you got a concussion. How was that, how did you feel when it happened?
I was just fresh off the hip surgery and was really excited to get out to Lakewood and it was my second game and I got hit in the head. It was pretty bad, I was stuck on the ground for a while and I couldn't really move. I've never had a concussion before. That was definitely a little scary.
What was your draft experience like last year?
I was playing with Fresno State and we were in a super regional against Arizona State, and when I found out that the Phillies drafted me I was really excited. I mean, the Phillies are a great organization and I've been blessed to get drafted into this organization. When I heard, although I was excited, I was definitely still trying to focus on the college season at the time.
What would you say that your strengths are as a player?
Probably driving in runs and moving runners. Just generally hitting.
Are there any facets of your game that you are focusing on improving specifically?
Just to keep taking good at bats every day, and not be giving away at bats. And laying off certain pitches and having good 2 strike at bats.
Who do you think helped you excel most in the system this season?
Probably, when I was in Lakewood, the hitting coach there was Greg Legg. And he was great when I was there. He was always there early at the field. Anything we needed, he was always there to hit with us and I definitely have picked up a few hitting concepts from him that have paid off.
What do you most like to do away from the ballpark?
I play a little bit of poker every now and then, for fun. But mostly just hanging out and relaxing. I also play golf, but not during the season.
If you could face any pitcher, who would you most like to face?
Probably...I'd love to face, like a (Justin) Verlander...or someone that has a really good fastball, just to see a fastball in the high 90's. I've never seen that before. I'd love to see a fastball at 100 miles an hour.
What advice might you give to young teenaged players who are hoping to play baseball beyond high school?
Definitely, just that hard work always gets you there. I've been a product of that and in high school I was a little above average and probably a little lucky to go to a Division 1 school and play baseball. And when I was there, I had a great hitting coach there and just worked with him every day. Hard work does pay off and if you never quit, and keep on working hard, you'll find yourself in good situations and good places.
What's your favorite music and what artists do you like?
Definitely country...and favorite artist? Probably Rascal Flatts.
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