Friday, May 8, 2015

Fightins Quotables: Altherr, Quinn, Martinez speak

This week I spoke with several members of the Double-A Reading Fightins roster. Outfielder Aaron Altherr, who spent a handful of days with the big league club last year, rising prospect Roman Quinn and 2011 second round pick Harold Martinez all took time to share their thoughts on various subjects. Read ahead for those exclusive quotes.

A Altherr
Aaron Altherr, image- Jay Floyd
Aaron Altherr:

-The 24-year-old spoke about what drives him in the game...

I gotta get back up there this season and hopefully I can stay up there. It drives each and every one of us. That's the ultimate goal is to get up to the big leagues and produce up there.

-Commenting on which players with the big club stood out as leaving an impression on him...

I always looked at Utley, the way he goes about his business. And even a younger guy like Domonic Brown, you know, he'd always come up to me and talk to me and show me the ropes. Guys like that really help you get comfortable up there and know that you can do it and it's not that much different. You just relax and play the game.

-Sharing thoughts on how he feels this year compared to last season, when he posted a .236 average with 14 homers and 57 RBI in 120 games at the same level...

I'm a lot more comfortable this year 'cause I know what my swing's doing this year. Last year, I was trying to find my swing the whole year and I couldn't find it. Just did a lot of work in the off-season and I feel like I've gotten it back and feel a lot more comfortable up there.


Roman Quinn:

-The 21-year-old outfielder speaking on playing behind the Reading pitching rotation that has so much buzz surrounding them...

I've always been one of those guys that goes after things hard and if I have a chance to take away a hit from a guy, I'm definitely going to do it and those guys, I know they're pitching their hearts out, so I'm going to give them everything I've got.

-On the topic of what it's like playing in front of Phillies fans in Reading...

It's very exciting. You can see the energy in the fans when they come out and I sign autographs for them before every game. It's very exciting. Great home field. We get good home crowds here and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season.

-Offering some feedback on the field at FirstEnergy Stadium...

It plays shallow, it's not a deep field. The walls, everything bounces back toward the middle. I like playing here.

-Giving some insight on how he feels about playing for coaches Dusty Wathan and Mickey Morandini...

It's definitely a blessing. These guys have been around the game a long time. Just being able to pick their brains and have them talk to me about the game and what to work on, offensively and defensively, it's a blessing.

For more from Quinn, read my recent feature on him by clicking HERE.

Harold Martinez:

-Talking about adjusting to and playing in the Double-A Eastern League...

I love it. It's been a long time since I had a lot of fun with a team and in the minor leagues, sometimes, you get caught up in doing for yourself. Here in Double-A you have a team that really wants to win and that makes it more fun. I'm enjoying my time and every time I get to play it's a blessing and I'm grateful every time I go out there.

-Speaking about if he feels pressure to perform better based on his early round draft spot...

I mean, they always say that once you're drafted, you're a thousand-dollar player like every body else, so (your draft spot) doesn't matter. I haven't played how I want to play. But, I'm a believer in God does everything for a reason and I'm very comfortable where I'm at now. Like I said, I haven't played how I've wanted to in my career, but I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had in the past. I've grown and without my struggles I wouldn't be- right now, I consider myself a lot smarter than when I was drafted. At this level you need that. That failure is one of the reasons I'm doing well. You learn a lot. When you fail, you learn a lot, so I am grateful for all those times I struggled.

-Sharing thoughts on what he's working on this year...

Baseball is so tough. You're always working mechanically. It's always in the back of your mind. I think when you get to this level, things are so even that- even, like I said, even when I don't play I don't lose days. The days I'm sitting on the bench...it's a blessing in disguise because I get to analyze the game the way you can't when you're playing and I see things that you can't (see) when you're playing. Then when it's my turn to play, I try to put that into effect. Right now, I'm trying to be ahead of the game mentally and be prepared for any situation, because you're going to fail regardless. This is a hard sport. I'm going miss ground balls, I'm going to throw balls bad, I'll miss- that's just how it is. I'm just working really hard on minimizing the times that mentally I'm not prepared.

Dusty Wathan:

-In a comment that wasn't included in his full interview located HERE, the manager of the club spoke of where last year's top draft pick Aaron Nola is, progress wise, compared to last August when he first pitched for Reading:

He's better. You know, his fastball command's always been there, but his breaking ball's better, the holding runners part of it is a lot better, kind of the intangible things he's starting to get more comfortable with. The pick off, you know PFP's and things like that it's getting a lot better.
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