During my Huntsville trip I got a chance to sit down with Cole Gillespie for a few minutes in the club house. When I entered he was finishing a post batting practice sandwich which contained ham, cheese, and cool ranch Doritos to top it off. While I am not sure the Doritos sandwich will catch on if it will help me hit like Cole Gillespie I am willing to try anything.
BCB: Were you drafted originally coming out of high school before going to college?
Cole Gillespie: I signed very early to go to Oregon State so teams didn't draft me.
BCB: OSU has been extremely successful in the past few years without a lot of big name prospects. What is the key to the success they have had?
CG: It is tough to say. Coming out of high school I knew I wanted to play in the Pac-10 because it is such a prestigious conference and when I got there my first couple of years we finished in the lower half of the conference and then my Junior year we just had a lot of talent stay and our coach was able to recruit them to OSU. We had a lot of talent, not first round talent, but we played together and the last few years they have been able to get guys through there.
BCB: Was being on a winning team in college helpful for your transition to the pros?
CG: It helps set a standard. The feeling that losing is unacceptable and I have been fortuneate enough to be playing on some good teams here as well. Getting used to that winning you don't want to settle for anything less than that.
BCB; You seem to have transitioned to a wood bat incredible quickly. That is something that many college players struggle with when first going to the minors. What was your key in making that transition?
CG: Growing up I always had a wood bat in my hand. I used it for batting practice and what not. It actually took me a week or so in rookie ball to finally turn that corner but one game I went 6 for 6 and I never looked back from there. There was a minor adjustment getting used to the wood but it feels natural now.
BCB: Do you use a maple bat or ash bat?
CG: I use a combination of maple and birch. They are kind of similar woods.
BCB: Have you had problems with it exploding?
CG: I have had a few instances were I have squared up the ball on the barrel and had it explode in my hands. That is just the way it goes. I have been getting some good wood on the ball recently so I haven't had too many bats breaking.
BCB: It seems like hitting hasn't been a problem wherever you go. You hit in college, you went to rookie ball you hit there, you went to A ball you hit there, and now you are hitting here yet you haven't got a lot of publicity but this team is just so loaded with talent.
CG: Yeah exactly. This team has got a lot of potential and a lot of talent on it. I try not to worry about that too much I just try to go out there and take care of my business and down the road things will work themselves out.
BCB: You seem to be a very well rounded player. You hit for average, power, you run pretty well, you field your position well, and have a pretty accurate arm from what I hear.
CG: That is the one thing that I have hurt is my shoulder in college which has held me back a little bit with my arm. I try to be a complete player I am not going to try to go out there and wow anybody by trying to hit five home runs or anything like that really just the small things in my game is pretty important to me. I want to be good at everything. I want to be smart on the bases, play good defense, now days especially in the National League you have to hit and play defense so I try to focus on all aspects of the game.
BCB: What do you do for off season workouts? Do you have any plans for winter ball or AFL?
CG: Winter ball is an option but I got a MRI in spring training and I have a fracture in my [foot] but as far as workout routines the last couple of years I have gone back to OSU they have nice facilities to work out in. So I will probably get a place in Beaverton, Oregon and I have a trainer out there and from there I can go over to the Nike headquarters and they have everything you want right there.
BCB: Becuase you are a well rounded player is there an aspect of your game that you want to work on in the off season?
CG: I definitely want to improve my speed this year. I have average speed I'd say but I get pretty good jumps and I like to be intelligent on the bases but that is something I would like to work on.
BCB: Thank you very much and good luck with the rest of the season.