|Adam Haseley, image- Jay Floyd|
The 21-year-old lefty batter tallied a .284 average with three home runs, 28 RBI and six stolen bases in 58 games at three levels, including the final 18 contests with Class A Lakewood.
This off-season Haseley, a native of Florida has spent much of his off-season in and around Clearwater, training at the Phils' facilities there. Recently, I spoke to the Virginia product about his initial experiences in the minors, his efforts since the season ended, meeting Roy Halladay prior to his passing and more. Read ahead for that full interview.
-Was there a standout lesson you took from your first season as a professional player that you know will stick with you for years to come?
I would say two things; one, getting used to playing every day, in the sense of getting ready, you know, every night and kind of finding something else that you’re involved in besides going to the field every day. It gets kind of (repetitive). I think it’s important to have something other than baseball that you’re involved in, whether it’s reading or going out with teammates for lunch or something like that- something that just mixed things up.
-Do you have any moments that mean a lot to you, from last season in the minors?
Probably my first day in Williamsport and just kind of like taking it all in. They dropped me off at the front gate of the locker room and I walked in and put my bags down and kind of just thought to myself that this is where it all begins. I don’t think I’ll ever forget getting in that day and trying to fit in and trying to start the process as soon as I could.
-When a new guy walks into a locker room following a draft, promotion, trade, whatever…how difficult is that fitting in? Is it tough to learn all the names and faces?
Yeah, it’s not easy. The first day that I got to Clearwater, they had a little mini camp after the draft, I didn’t know anyone and a bunch of guys had been there days before me. So, that was the hardest day just from a standpoint of trying to get to know people and just being the new guy and not really knowing where I was. The next two times I moved, the first time to Williamsport and then to Lakewood, it would be a little easier because I would know a guy or two when I got there.
-All new guys to the organization would be slated to go to the fall instructional league, following the regular season. What is that like and can you talk about the other camps you attended?
For instructs, overall it was really beneficial, I thought. I got to meet a lot of the different coaches and the hitting instructor for High A was there and I met a lot of teammates, whether it was the Latin players or other players that I didn’t play with. I thought it was good. We got to start testing new ideas and get some more reps and travel around and play at different locations. I really enjoyed it.
-Did you attend the strength camp or the speed camp that the Phillies hosted down there?
I attended both of those. It was good. The strength camp got underway around October 31st or November 1st and I took two weeks off from lifting after instructs, just letting the body and mind rest, so I thought November 1st was a good time to start. In the speed camp we worked a lot of things, whether it was first jumps or form running, so it was real good. It was a good start and I have kept training. I’ve been working really hard and trying to get ready for the next season.
-I know Roy Halladay had been working as a mental skills coach down there. Had you encountered him at all after signing with the Phillies?
I actually introduced myself the Monday before he passed. He actually came and spoke to our little group at the strength camp that afternoon and I just introduced myself afterward and he was very encouraging and gave me a couple books that he encouraged me to read. And I was just grateful to have met him.
-Do you value that experience a lot?
Yeah, I was just happy that I got to meet him the day before, just that he took the time out of his schedule and his life to invest in us and tell us some of the important things that he learned in his career, it was just pretty special to me to meet him in the time that I did.
-Do you recall finding out what happened with him? Where you among teammates when the news broke about his plane crash?
Yeah, we were in Spanish class that we were taking on Tuesdays and Thursdays it was about 3:30 or something like that and we were getting out at 4 and one of the guys had said something about it and we all obviously got online and had to check.
-Was it tough to deal with at all?
It was relying on each other, trying to make sense of it and I know a couple guys along with myself got to go to the Threshers’ event for honoring him a few days later, so that was pretty special.
-It's great you had the chance to meet him. Spanish class you mentioned, and I know for the Latin guys that come up and play in the States, English class is mandatory. Is the Spanish class for you guys mandatory or voluntary?
It was mandatory within those two camps.
-Any previous exposure to the language? Any head start with it?
Most of us did and a lot of it was reviewing. I took it for a couple semester in college. It was good, it gave us more time to bond together and it’s positive to get that refresher on Spanish.
-Things were heating up for the Phils as of late. Can you, as a minor leaguer, get excited for or do you follow Phillies hot stove news?
Yeah, I was trying to follow it all. I was at the Winter Meetings one night, I was just meeting a friend up there that just graduated and was trying to land a job. We were out in that direction a couple nights ago, so yeah, I was trying to follow it a little bit. There was some talk in the clubhouse for speed camp of what might happen, so it’s been interesting.
-Since it sounds like your entire off-season has been loaded with baseball, do you have any personal plans you’re looking forward to before spring training begins?
There is this event in Atlanta, it’s called Passion, it’s like a conference for Christian students in college, so I’ll be going to that. It’s on New Year’s Day till the third of January. That’s about it.
-Tell me more about that…do you go with college friends?
It’s basically, the church in Atlanta is called Passion and they put on a conference every year for 50-to-60 thousand college students from around the country and they all come in to—it’s usually at a few different locations, but this year it’s at the Philips Arena in Atlanta and it’s basically a three-day conference with different bands and different speakers and stuff like that. I went last year and it’s pretty cool.