In early December, the New York Mets selected second/third baseman Brad Emaus from the Toronto Blue Jays in the Rule 5 Draft. It certainly wasn’t a surprising pick since Mets Assistant General Manager, J.P. Riccardi, drafted Emaus back in 2007 when he was still the Blue Jays General Manager–however, Emaus not only has a chance to make the roster in 2011, but also even start.
Emaus, who will be 25 on opening day, owns a career .276/.364/.426 line in the minors, and in 2010 at Triple-A, posted a .290 BA, .397 OB, .476 SLG, 15 HR, 75 RBI, 79 R, and 13 SB. As good as those stats are, more importantly, Emaus took 81 walks, and struck-out just 69 times. Arguably the hardest skill to teach to any hitter–young or old–is patience, and Emaus defines it.
Luckily for RisingApple.com, Brad was generous enough to take some time, and answer questions about Spring Training, what management has told him about his role, his preferences on defense, his interesting approach to the plate, his tenure at Tulane, and many other in-depth details. We can only imagine the battle ahead for nailing down the second base job, so we here at RisingApple.com only wish Brad the best of luck.
Q: How did you feel when the New York Mets selected you in the Rule 5 Draft?
A: I was very excited to hear that the Mets had selected me in the Rule 5 draft. I was down in the Dominican when I was contacted by email.
Q: Did you enjoy your tenure with the Toronto Blue Jays and were there specific coaches or players who helped you along the way in the Jays system?
A: I had a fantastic time playing with the Blue Jays organization. I have no complaints about my time with them and enjoyed the 4 seasons. Justin Mashore is going to be the AA hitting coach and I believe that he had the biggest impact on me during my time with the Blue Jays. He is a fantastic hitting coach and deserves a lot of credit with many players.
Q: What has the Mets management said to you about your chances to start at 2B?
A: To tell you the truth I have not heard anything about my chances of starting or making the team. I am just looking forward to going to Spring Training, competing for a chance to be on the team, and hopefully helping the organization win.
Q: If by chance you didn’t make the Mets out of Spring Training, would you be disappointed to be returned to the Blue Jays?
A: Every player’s goal is to be in the Big Leagues so of course it would be disappointing, but on the other hand it is a business and I understand that.
Q: What are the differences between playing 3B and 2B for you?
A: 2B has always been more natural for me, I enjoy turning the double play at 2nd and I feel I am more involved in the game when I play there. 3rd is a difficult position and one I am still learning. The difference to me is the reaction time and the throws.
Q: Most people look at HR totals for skill progression, but your low K/high BB rates are arguably your most impressive stats. Are you more drawn to the long ball, or do you actively focus on drawing walks/limiting strikeouts?
A: I do not try and do anything but compete during an at bat. I have never once in my life gone to the plate looking to draw a walk and I never will. I find that the better you control the strike zone the better your production will be.
Q: Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?
A: Barry Bonds to me is the greatest hitter ever.
Q: Do you play fantasy baseball or if not, do play other fantasy sports?
A: I do not play fantasy baseball, but I do play fantasy football on a yearly basis.
Q: What was it like playing baseball for Tulane and do you ever talk to or seek the advice of other Tulane players now in the major leagues?
A: I had a great time playing at Tulane. We had some great teams and great players. I still keep in touch with a few of my teammates that play in the minors and majors.
Q: What was your greatest baseball career moment?
A: Going to the College World Series was an unbelievable time in my career. Also, when we won the NYPL championship in 2007 for the Auburn Doubledays was another great moment in my career.
Q: Do you have any interesting Hurricane Katrina stories?
A: It was a crazy time for everyone that was in the city. Our team was sent to Texas Tech for the semester so we did not see everything that went on in the city face to face. The first floor of our apartment did have flooding but that was about the worst thing that happened to me.
Q: Have you ever been to New York City and are you nervous at the prospect of playing in front of arguably the most “expecting” fans?
A: I recently went up to New York City for a weekend and had a blast. Being from the country, the city life is very eye opening to me. Nervous? No. Excited? Yes. They are passionate about their team and I can respect that. The object of any competition is to win and that is what the fans expect. There is nothing wrong with that.