Thursday, May 3, 2018

PhoulBallz Interview: Threshers LF/1B Austin Listi

Austin Listi with Lakewood last year, Image- Jay Floyd
Left fielder/first baseman Austin Listi is off to a great start this season with the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers.  Through 21 games the 24-year-old sports a .363 batting average, which ranks 2nd in the Florida State League, with eight doubles a triple, three home runs and 13 RBI. Additionally, his 1.020 OPS is 2nd best in the league.


Listi, a right-handed batter, is listed at six feet tall, 210 pounds.  He has eight multi-hit games this year.

A 17th round draft pick out of Dallas Baptist last year, Listi has enjoy plenty of success since turning pro, as he tallied a .262/.315/.451 slash line in 53 combined games with short-season A level Williamsport and Class A Lakewood last year.

Recently I talked with Austin about his outstanding offensive production thus far this season.  Read ahead for that full interview.



-You're off to a hot start, great stats and production. What are your thoughts on what you have done in the FSL this far?
Thank you, I don’t really think about stats too often. I just try to go out and do something that helps the team, whatever that may be. I’m happy with my start.  All glory to God for all the blessings.

-Any changes to your approach or things you worked on that are proving successful? 
I’ve tried to focus more on putting the ball in play with two strikes and not try to kill the ball with two strikes. In college I would often still try to drive the baseball with two strikes. It’s easier to get away with that in college but at this level it’s much harder.

-Any noticeable difference between the A level leagues, and/or are you finding the promotion easy with facing a lot of the same pitchers and such?
I think the pitchers here in High A are more consistent with their pitches. They can throw multiple pitches in multiple counts for the most part. That would have to be the biggest difference I have noticed so far. They can locate with most of their pitches.

-What feedback have you gotten from the coaches so far this year on what you are doing?
The coaches give us all praise when we deserve and they help us when we need it. They are great about teaching us as well as complimenting us.

-I have talked to a couple Reading and Lakewood guys about the new regime and the focus on analytics. What have you seen with that? Is it mostly just defensive positioning or are there other things that are being shared with the players to improve results?
Honestly, not seeing much of anything different than I’ve seen before. Scouting reports on the pitchers and their hitters. Typical stuff we did in college and have done in pro ball. We get our analytics that show us our hitting numbers and heat maps that helps a lot.

-Any other big changes with the team this year, stemming from the new regime? I recall reading about Kapler's focus on nutrition & diet elsewhere...has that translated to the Phillies?
It’s hard for me to say, since this is my first full season. I was drafted last year so I couldn’t really tell you what if anything has changed much.

-What's the best thing about playing in Clearwater? 
There is a ton of positives about playing in Clearwater. The weather is nice, the travel is great. The facilities are top notch. We really get taken care of. The beach is close by, fishing all around us. There are a ton of great things.

-Have you gotten time with any big leaguers or ex-big leaguers during spring or on the side at all that have left impressions on you? 
Tommy Hunter was with us for a game, he was great. He’s a good dude to have around, he’s been in the big leagues for a while and knows his stuff. We’ve played against some other big leaguers which is always cool to see.
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