Saturday, April 25, 2020

PhoulBallz Interview: Phillies infield prospect Madison Stokes

Stokes w/ Lakewood in 2018, image- Jay Floyd
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A 10th round draft pick of the Phillies in 2018, Madison Stokes quickly made a positive impression upon debuting in the professional ranks. In 55 games the righty batter notched a combined .299/.372/.433 slash line at three levels.

Last year in his first full minor league season, the University of South Carolina product posted a .242 average with 10 home runs and 42 RBI primarily as a third baseman and first baseman in 110 games for Class A Advanced Clearwater.

This week I talked with Madison about the current baseball hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic, how he's staying in baseball shape, his pro experiences thus far and plenty more. Read ahead for that complete interview.


- Can you describe finding out that baseball was being shut down? How were the players informed and what were your feelings?

We were playing against the Yankees when someone got a notification about a NBA player getting the virus. Come to find out, we would have a meeting the next morning about the pandemic. Obviously, I wasn’t happy because we were just getting game ready but I had mixed feelings about going home. I was pumped to see everyone but also didn’t want to put my spring training and season on pause.


- How are you keeping in shape? Working alone or with anyone?

I have my daily training of workouts and baseball exercises. My dad will hit me ground balls and if I’m with my girlfriend, she will throw me some golf sized plastic balls to hit.


-Talk about your lady's golf ball pitches...can she bring the heat?!?! Does she and your Dad have any significant playing background?

Dad played a little bit but mostly football in high school. Girlfriend plays beach volleyball at the University of South Carolina. She has gotten much better from where she started (laughs). She enjoys trying to get me to miss, so we have a great time!


- The Threshers had some big moments last year. What were some highlights for you from 2019?

Lot of fun moments from last season. Bus rides are always a lot of fun, making it to the post season is always a blast; however, that got cut short as well. I don’t have a favorite but I mostly enjoy being around a fun group of guys competing.


- Where has your game improved the most since you turned pro and is there a coach or other Phillies personnel that helped you the most?

I would say my level of maturity within the game has improved the most. Having a better understanding of how pitchers are attacking me and an overall better feel for what it takes to get to the top. I am more focused on the small details that have a big impact in my baseball future. No, not one coach. All of them have helped me in some shape or form.


- How would you feel if baseball returned without fans in attendance and have you ever played in front of zero fans before?

I love fans because they bring the atmosphere and it is always nice having someone in the stands that you know is supporting you but I can play without. I have done it before, I just want to get out there and compete again.


- How are you battling boredom during this pandemic?

Not really a battle for me, I’ve got my routine that usually keeps me occupied for most of the day. If I do catch myself bored then I’ll usually go outside and find something to do, read a book, or learn a language.


- Do you have any TV, game or book suggestions for others that are stuck at home?

I’m currently watching Love Island, pretty entertaining show. I’m currently reading “Tools of Titans”by Tim Ferris, highly recommend. Would also recommend "Atomic Habits" by James Clear. I will also play Call of Duty with my buddies.


- Has there been any panic shopping where you are and were you able to acquire the key items like Lysol wipes, toilet paper and all that?

No panic here with finding anything. We are fortunate enough to have access to our necessities.


- What are you missing most about playing?

I mostly miss being around my buddies and competing with them on the field. I love competing.

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