Skip to main content

PhoulBallz Interview: Reading OF Zach Coppola

Zach Coppola, image- Jay Floyd
Outfielder Zach Coppola has enjoyed some solid success this year in the Phillies developmental ranks.  The 23-year-old, who was a 13th round draft choice in 2015, opened the season with Class A Advanced Clearwater, where he batted .350 with a homer, 12 RBI and 10 steals in 55 games.  Following a promotion to Double-A Reading, the five-foot-10 160-pounder has tallied a .281 average with nine RBI and 10 stolen bases in 34 games. 

Recently, I talked with Zach about coaches who have made lasting impressions on him, his family, Reading Fightin Phils fans and more.  Read ahead for that full interview.

-It's been a great 2017 for you so far.  Hitting for high average, earning a promotion.  Talk about your success.

It's been a good year.  I'm just working hard, trying to stay consistent.  I think that's been my main goal.  But, yeah, it's been going well.

-What has been the difference for you?  'Cause last year you were with (Class A) Lakewood, missed some time with injury, you make it to Clearwater and jump another level to Double-A.  I think it's a pretty quick path to this level without missing a beat.  Do you notice significant differences between these levels you've played at?

I think as you go up the pitching gets better and better.  You know, their command, their off-speed are a little better, pitching backwards sometimes.  Pitching mainly, but other than that, they do a pretty good job preparing us for each level.

-Who has made a big impact on you from the Phillies system?  Is there a coach or a player that you've gained some insight from that has helped you a great deal?

I think just talking with (outfield coach Andy) Abad around here.  He's got so much knowledge and he shares it well with us, so it's always been cool to chat with him.

-Every now and again, I'll see an interaction on Twitter, people with your same last name liking or retweeting things I post about you.  They seem very supportive.  Can you talk about the backing of your loved ones a little bit?

My family's big into the Twitter world.  They show a lot of support.  It's awesome to see.  You know, seeing different retweets and stuff, it's all over my feed, when I see it.  Yeah, it's always great to have that support, especially with them behind you and them coming out to watch you play, so it's great to have that support.

-Through the lower levels there may be low attendance or just fans that don't have the same connection as the Reading crowds can have, as they're fans that grew up as Phillies fans.  Have you noticed a difference playing in front of that Reading crowd compared to the other levels?

Yeah, absolutely.  It's almost like you see the difference.  They're actual fans.  They're not just there...  Like, they care about the game and they care about what's going on during the game.  The fans there are so much more involved and it's crazy.  It's awesome.

-I know the Phillies are big on volunteering, whether it's Boy and Girls Clubs, or helping with a local youth league, or something like that.  What does it mean to you to help you the community there when you get the chance?

Yeah, they do a great job of giving us different opportunities to make it easy for us.  But we did something with special needs kids, playing a game in Reading and that was awesome.  Our whole team went and it was a cool experience to see them being able to play what we play, so it was fun.

-On that topic, I'll talk to guys that experienced some coaching from a pro or an older known player in their youth that made a big impression that lasted for some time.  Do you have a guy like that, who helped you?

My hitting coach back home, Mike Mahoney, he was with the Cubs for a while and it was always fun watching him and how he carried himself and seeing how he went about his business as a professional baseball player.  You know, you look up to him growing up and how he was a professional baseball player from Iowa, so you don't get that too often.  It was pretty cool to see and I still see him now when I get back home, so it's always cool to share stories and chat with him.

-Were there any players you watched on TV or in person as a young guy that you might have wanted to emulate?

Ichiro was always a player that I liked.  He could run, a small guy.  But, Brett Gardner right now.  Just players with my similar attributes.

-A couple guys on your team have drawn some attention.  You've got All-Stars like Carlos Tocci and Mitch Walding.  What's it like playing with those guys?

Oh, it's great.  You get on base with those guy behind you, it's pretty fun to watch.  Especially with the home runs coming and playing in Reading.  It's pretty fun.  Yeah, it's exciting.  

-Do you have memories from playing as a young guy of when you realized you might have the potential of making a career in the pro ranks?

It was mainly my junior year of high school.  I think our team had 13 or 14 Division 1 players and one draftee and I think we all became really close and now in the off-seasons we still hang out and work out together, some of us that are still playing.  And I think that was kind of when we all kind of realized that, "Hey, this could be our future!"  So, we all became really close and it's pretty cool.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________

Who is Your Favorite Willie 'Mays' Hayes?

PhoulBallz.com is wondering which individual who has portrayed Willie "Mays" Hayes is the favorite of the public. Hayes, of course, is the character made famous in the Major League motion picture series. In Major League , Willie "Mays" Hayes was portrayed by budding Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes, who would go on to action movie superstardom. Snipes has starred in major motion pictures like the Blade trilogy, Passenger 57 , Undisputed and many more. Snipes remains an impact Hollywood actor, despite legal troubles related to income tax evasion. Snipes was replaced for the sequel, Major League II when his busy career, and possibly the film's budget, would not allow him to return, by Omar Epps. Another budding actor, Epps had previously worked with director David S. Ward, on the film The Program , and landed the role of Hayes, who had become a Hollywood action star over the off-season that occured between the two films. Epps' career portraying athletes rol

Phillies minor leaguer Burch to use health scare as fuel

Tyler Burch, image- MiLB.com I invite you to visit Patreon.com/PhoulBallz in order to support my work and get access to exclusive interviews plus early access to features and news such as this. A missed baseball season wasn't the only challenge facing righty pitcher Tyler Burch this summer.   With persistent symptoms that began prior to spring training it was ultimately discovered, after the 2020 season was shut down due to the Coronavirus pandemic, that the 22-year-old had developed an autoimmune disease.   As symptoms that included dry mouth and frequent trips to the bathroom worsened, Burch's situation left his doctor puzzled.  And even the physician that conducted his team physical examination at the outset of spring training jokingly referenced diabetes, but did not take the possibility seriously.    The physical impacts subsided somewhat during spring training, as being more active and adhering to the team diet helped alleviate what he was experiencing. Once the base