When talking to Cutter Dykstra, it becomes immediately apparent that while he treasures his father's wisdom and advice, he's out to make a name for himself. That said, if you saw Lenny Dykstra play, you have a pretty good idea of Cutter's game: one hundred percent all of the time. He may not end up having the same career as his dad, but it won't be for lack of effort. I caught up with him on Tuesday afternoon.
BCB: How’s it going?
CD: I’m in Arizona rehabbing now; should be back in Helena soon. I’ve been on the DL.
BCB: Your groin right?
CD: Yeah, I’m healthy again though. I play tomorrow [He went 0-2 with two flyouts on Wednesday].
BCB: I heard your groin injury rubbed off on Josh Romanski. He said you were good buddies, though.
CD: Yeah, yeah we are. [Logan] Schafer had a groin, too.
BCB: So before the draft, when did you first know the Brewers were interested in you?
CD: The Area Code Games. I was on the Brewers’ team for that, and they could really see the way I play the game.
BCB: What other teams were most interested?
CD: Pretty much every other team. It was exciting.
BCB: Did you go about where you expected to in the draft?
CD: Yeah, that’s where I expected. I was very happy where I heard my name called.
BCB: You got a pretty hefty bonus--did you dad have any sage financial advice for you?
CD: (laughs) I just gave him my check, and he will invest some of it for me.
BCB: It's a good thing your dad knows a little bit more about money than Price Fielder's. Did you hear about that?
CD: No, I didn’t hear about it. What happened?
BCB: Cecil took $200,000 of Prince’s signing bonus and most likely gambled it away.
CD: (laughs) Yeah, that’s brutal.
BCB: You've been playing the outfield so far, but you played the middle infield in high school. What do you think your best position is?
CD: I love the outfield because I can really use my speed, but I also love the infield still because I’ve played there my whole life. I could see myself at second base a lot during instructional league, but we’ll see; either way will be great.
BCB: You don't enjoy one more than the other?
CD: Right now I like playing both equally.
BCB: So just how fast are you?
CD: (laughs) Well my dad says I’m faster than him.
BCB: Do you think that's your best tool?
CD: I would say that’s my best tool.
BCB: What part of your game do you feel like you have to work on the most?
CD: Every baseball players wants to have consistency, and now that I’m playing every day I really need to work on consistency.
BCB: You've been complimented on your "baseball IQ". How much of that awareness comes from your dad?
CD: Almost all of it has come from him. I’m fortunate to be able to talk to him about the game whenever I want to, and players have told me he’s the smartest player they have ever played with. We always talk about the mental game, never physical stuff. He’s helped me a ton, and I still learn from him every day.
BCB: How often do you talk to him?
CD: We talk almost every day. My parents are very supportive.
BCB: How hard is it to make the transition from high school kid living with your parents to professional athlete all on your own?
CD: I love it. This has been my dream since I was little. Now it’s here, and now it’s a grind, and it’s time to shine.
BCB: Do you have a timetable in your head?
CD: No. I just take it an at-bat at a time.
BCB: The Brewers' first-round draft pick, Brett Lawrie, seems to have a similar swagger and aggressiveness as you. He thinks he can be in the Majors in a year and a half.
CD: Yeah, I heard he’s a great player. But that stuff is out of my control. I’m just gonna play the game hard and everything will work out.
BCB: Did you know anyone in the organization before getting drafted?
CD: Actually, Dave Bush was my older brother’s best friend all through high school in Pennsylvania, so we go way back, and me and [Ryan] Braun have the same agent, so we work out together during each offseason.
BCB: Did your brother play ball too?
CD: Yeah he played for a year at [Cal State-Northridge].
BCB: Do you have any other big league connections?
CD: Well, my dad is still friends with a lot of his old teammates, and I know them, but not too many other players now.
BCB: Does your dad keep up with Darren Daulton?
BCB: Darren Daulton is kinda nuts. Like, really nuts.
CD: (laughs) Yeah, really off the rocker.
BCB: So did you grow up a Phillies fan?
CD: Yeah I did. [Lenny] was traded there two weeks after I was born.
BCB: Still cheer for them?
CD: A little bit, not as much.
BCB: Would it be safe to say that after some polish in center field you'd like your game to resemble Aaron Rowand's?
CD: Yeah, that’s a good player to resemble. He plays the game right.
BCB: Is there any particular guy you do model your game after?
BCB: Do you think you have a chance to develop Utley’s power?
CD: I really do. I think I will.
BCB: You're 5'11", right?
CD: Yeah, about, maybe six foot.
BCB: But you don't think your height will hinder you from developing more power?
CD: No, not at all. Height doesn’t mean anything to me.
BCB: It doesn't seem to bother the Brewers, either. They've taken a couple shorter outfielders high in the draft recently, like Caleb Gindl and Erik Komatsu. Speaking of Komatsu, who on Helena's club impressed you the most?
CD: Komatsu has a great bat. He’s really impressed me and plays the game hard.
BCB: How about for the Arizona Brewers? Who looks good?
CD: All the Latins have a lot of talent. Once they get a lot of at bats, they’ll be good.
BCB: How about [Shawn] Zarraga?
CD: I’m not sure who that is. (laughs) What position?
BCB: Catcher, the guy from Aruba. He's a big dude.
CD: Oh yeah. He’s a good player and has a lot of passion for the game.
BCB: Okay, one more question--it's a fun one. What's it like to get your ass written about in the New York Times?CD: That was awesome! Very exciting.
BCB: Well, thanks for your time, and best of luck in the future. And go to the D'backs game tomorrow and cheer against the Cubs!
CD: (laughs) Okay, thanks dude.