Saturday, June 30, 2012
A Q&A with Reds prospect Travis Mattair
Travis "Moose" Mattair. Once a minor league player in the Phillies organization (2007-2011), he's now a minor league player in the Cincinnati Reds organization (2012) with Single-A Bakersfield. He plays 3B for the Blaze and is currently hitting .261 with 11 HR and 42 RBI.
Recently, we here at Redlegs Review had the pleasure to interview Travis Mattair and find out a little more about the young third baseman. Here's a look at the interview:
Redlegs Review: Growing up I read all you wanted to do was play basketball. That prompted you to step away from baseball in 2009 and join Boise State's basketball program. You later returned to the diamond in time for the playoffs. Why the change of heart? Any regrets?
Travis Mattair: I have always been taught to live life as it comes, and don't have any regrets. I have never regretted anything I have done because it was the right thing to do at that point in my life. I had always wanted to play basketball in college. That is what I thought I was going to end up doing, but the talk kept getting more and more real for baseball as I was about to graduate. I went to Boise State and missed the entire 2010 season to clear up one of the "what ifs" in my life. I never expected to come back to baseball when I left. Once I was at BSU and was fulfilling my basketball dream, I realized what I was missing. It made me realize what joy baseball gives me. It might have set me back a little in my career but I never would have had the joy and love for the game of baseball if I had never stepped away. I don't want to say I took the game for granted but in a way I did, and when I went to BSU I realized all of this and I am better off because of it!
RR: Why did you pick the number you have?
TM: No reason really. I have always liked the number 14, but someone had already had that number when we were picking numbers, so I looked at 24 and thought I'd give it a shot.
RR: What's the biggest change from playing in the Phillies organization to the Reds organization?
TM: You know baseball is baseball with whatever organization you are with. Baseball people are baseball people wherever you go. That's one thin I love about this game. The baseball community is a big family and are all the same wherever you go. But the Phillies were a great organization and gave me a lot of opportunities. I have nothing bad to say about them at all. The Reds are awesome though. I couldn't be happier here! The spring training site in Goodyear is beautiful, the coaching staff at every level is amazing! I am really happy here!
RR: Which current major leaguer would you say most reflects your style of play?
TM: I have always been a fan and watched Scott Rolen! Everyone says I resemble him. Everything from the way we walk, the way we are built, to the way we field. It is a compliment when they say I resemble him. I also watch Evan Longoria and hope to one day be able to hit, field, and be a great teammate like him.
RR: You're teammates with Billy Hamilton. We all know the guy is fast. How would you describe the way he plays the game? His speed? Could you beat him in a 40 yard dash if you had a head start?
TM: I am a huge Billy Hamilton fan! Yes I am his teammate but I am a big fan of his as well! Amazing, Electric! There are not enough adjectives to explain Billy! It has been a lot of fun being on the team where we are expected to witness history! He is changing the game of baseball with his speed! After he won a game for us on a sacrifice fly to second base where he scored, all I could say was WOW! The kid really is incredible! On top of everything he does on the field and everything the fans see, in the club house he is a great teammate, and a great person. You won't find many people who are about to do something that has never been done in the history of baseball, and be humble about it. Billy never gets a big head, he always wants to do what is best for the team! He is going to make a big name for himself in this game, and I am glad I can be along for the ride for at least a season to witness it.
Travis then added: "I would need a 30 yard head start to beat him in a 40 yard dash."
All in all, Travis "Moose" Mattair is a true professional and really understands the game. Not a single answer was given without a humbleness being felt in the response, as you can see. The guy is compared to Scott Rolen by many people. Scott Rolen was no doubt a good player in the prime of his career and is still above average defensively. If he can be ANYTHING like Scott Rolen, Reds fans are in for a treat in the future. Mattair could possibly be the future third baseman of this club and I'm sure everyone will enjoy both his demeanor on and off the field.
I'd just like to express one more word of thanks for the time given by Travis. It was a pleasure to interview him and get to know him a little more.
You can give Travis a follow on Twitter via @mooser3226.