Friday, February 16, 2007 (Part 2)
Spring Training Q&A
with Alexander Smit
The third in our series of Spring Training Q&As is with left-handed pitcher Alexander Smit. The native of The Netherlands is 21 years old and this offseason, he was added to the Twins 40 man roster. This weekend, he will be making that long airplane ride to Ft. Myers to report for his first big league training camp. I have been fortunate to have two Q&As with Mr. Smit here. The first came way back in December of 2004. The second came just this past October after his breakout season in Beloit. When I came out with my post-season Top 50 Twins Prospects list, it came as a surprise to some that I ranked him #8.
The following are his thoughts as the 2007 season quickly approaches:
SethSpeaks: 2006 started out slowly, but you turned it around and became a dominant starter in Beloit. Overall, how do you feel about your 2006 season?
Alexander Smit: Looking back I had a good season. Working with my pitcher coach helped to get my pitches right and get the feeling I needed.
SethSpeaks: How has your offseason been? Did you jump right into an offseason workout routine, or were you able to get away from baseball for a little while?
Alexander Smit: After returning home I had a couple of weeks relaxing but soon I started with my off-season routine. I also trained with the Dutch national team and worked on my strength and condition.
SethSpeaks: Here is a very open-ended questions, but... What does Spring Training mean to you?
Alexander Smit: Spring Training is a good way to get into final shape and to be able to try out the different pitches in the practice games. So it is very important to me. Furthermore over here is determined where you will start the season.
SethSpeaks: How happy were you to be added to the 40 man roster by the Twins this offseason? It clearly shows that the Twins are quite high on you!
Alexander Smit: Very happy as you can imagine. It is a great honour , a big step forward and I will do my utmost to show the organisation what I can do and leave a good impression.
SethSpeaks: When are you heading to Ft. Myers for spring training and when does it officially start?
Alexander Smit: Iím flying to Ft Myers on Saturday February 17th, arriving the 18th. For pitchers and catchers spring training starts the 19th.
SethSpeaks: Do you feel physically and mentally ready for the upcoming season?
Alexander Smit: Oh yes I am ! This is an important season for me and Iíve prepared the best I can.
SethSpeaks: Heading into camp, what are your hopes and expectations for camp and where would you like to start the '07 campaign?
Alexander Smit: I hope to have an outstanding spring training. I hope to start in Ft Myers with the Miracles and when I keep competing and have success you never know where you can end.
SethSpeaks: Have you set any goals for yourself for the 2007 season?
Alexander Smit: Work on my off speed pitches, try to improve my velocity, have a good year with a lot of fun.
A big thank you to Alex for taking some of his time before his long flight State-ward to answer these questions. Obviously we wish him the best of luck in 2007!
Please remember, these Spring Training Q&As will be posted as I receive them (but not until at least Monday evening as I am heading out of town. So, be sure to check back from time to time.. Please leave Comments or follow-up questions that I can take back to Alex for response. Thank you, and enjoy the rest of your day and your President's Day weekend!!|
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