I have had a chance a chance to interview the Detroit Tigers 2012 3rd round pick Austin Schotts. I have Followed him on Twitter since the day we drafted him in June and he has returned the favor and Followed me back. Over the past month he has taken lots of time to not only reply back to me but to alot of his newfound fans on Twitter and it has been alot of fun. Most times it is baseball related, but every once in awhile we get a laugh in here and there about other things. I think this shows alot of character about him, reminds me alot of Curtis Granderson and when I got a chance to meet him at Tigersfest right before he became a regular in the Tigers line-up. I can’t wait to see what this kid will do in the future as he has already gotten off to a torid start in the Gulf Coast League. I am hoping this may be the first of a few more interviews over time as he progresses through the minors and if I am lucky, even to the majors.
1) What was that phone call like when you got drafted? Who called you and how did you feel. What was going through your mind?
Austin – I was sitting around the computer watching with my family. I knew that if I didn’t get picked in the top 3 rounds that I was going to go to college instead. Several of the kids in my area had been called and the third round was half way over. I remember my mom saying how proud of me she was and how God must have had a different plan for me. It was all going to be ok. I had turned in my seat to get up because there were only a few picks left and I figured college was where I was going. As I started to get up from my chair I heard my name! Pick 121 by the Detroit Tigers. We all just started screaming and crying. To go from a low to a high in like 20 seconds is a crazy feeling! About five minutes later the Tigers called and congratulated me. It was one of the happiest days of my life!
2) How hard/easy was it to decide to bypass college to start your professional baseball career now? Did it matter by what round you went?
Austin – I had decided that if I didn’t get drafted in the top 3 rounds I was going to college. I got a great scholarship to play baseball at Oklahoma State so it was a win-win situation for me. A lot of people had said that I wasn’t as well known as a lot of the others and if I went to college first I would be a higher draft pick. In the end, my dream is to play baseball in the Bigs. With that being said, it was not hard to bypass college.
3) You are off to a hot start, but what are your goals finishing this season and into next year? Is it based off of stats or which level in the minors you can get to? Or something else?
Austin – My goal is to finish as strong as possible. I really don’t know how it works with moving up. Hopefully whoever makes that decision will see something I am doing and like it. I want to move up as fast as I can.
4) Were you surprised that you were moved to CF after high school knowing the Tigers have a franchise CF in Austin Jackson and Tigers are in need of a SS of the future?
Austin – I heard that I would be moved from short stop to center field draft day on the computer. Nobody had really ever said anything about it. I miss playing short stop and the fast pace of the infield, but in the end I am just so glad to be playing every day for such a great team. You never know what opportunity you will be given so I will be ready for whatever comes my way. I can play infield or outfield and have no problem competing against anyone.
5) I see you are wearing jersey #3, you know if you plan on keeping it that you may have to have a conversation with Alan Trammell when you make it to the Bigs?
Austin – This is the first time I have ever been #3. If #3 helps me play as well as he did then hopefully I can keep it! That would be an honor to wear #3 for Detroit! Either way, it would be awesome to get the chance to meet Alan Trammell! If they bring me up to the Bigs I will take any number they want me to wear!
6) I know you said you got your first professional homerun ball back, but have you kept anything else as a souvenier or momento? First jersey, pants, socks?
Austin – I used to keep all my home run balls growing up but stopped doing that in high school. I still have some of my old little league hats and stuff. My mom has always video taped everything so that’s really what we have to remember things by.
Thanks again and take your time. I know you have alot going on and have to keep up with other family and friends and preparing each day for a game. Won’t bother me if it takes a couple weeks.
Austin – Thanks for all of your support! You don’t know how much it means to me. I hope that I can make you and the rest of the Tigers fans proud of me. I promise I will be working my hardest at all times
I know those last few sentances were not part of my questions I asked, but that was his response back to me and again shows his character and how much it means to him to do what he does and see how the fans are supporting him. Thank you again Austin for doing this and best of luck finishing your first taste of professional baseball with the Gulf Coast League Tigers.
Austin Schotts Stat Line: 20 Games, 28/76 for a .368 Average, 5 Doubles, 1 Triple, 1 Homerun, 14 RBI’s, 10 Stolen Bases, .425 OBP, .500 Slugging.
You can find Austin on Twitter under the handle @austinschotts and you can see for yourself how much he interacts with his fans.