Monday, December 17, 2012

A Q&A with Reds prospect Ryan Wright


Ryan Wright is a rising prospect in the Reds organization. MLB.com currently ranks him as the team's 9th-best prospect in the farm system. Cincinnati originally acquired Wright when they selected him in the fifth round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft.

The second basemen spent the bulk of the past season at Single-A Dayton where he appeared in 102 games and posted a .285/.343/.424 slash line with 50 RBI, 27 doubles, and 53 runs scored. He earned a promotion to Single-A Bakersfield for the last part of 2012 and proceeded to hit .271 (26-96) in 23 games for the Blaze.

Wright played collegiately at the University of Louisville where he earned multiple All-Big East honors in addition to All-American honors as well.

I recently had an opportunity to catch up with the 23-year old for a question and answer session. Here's the transcript from that exchange:

RR: You hail from Fort Wayne, Indiana and from a family of Reds fans. How does it feel to play for the team you grew up cheering for (presumably)? Who were some of your favorite players growing up?

RW: It is a pretty crazy feeling playing in the organization that I have rooted for since I was young and the team the my dad grew up loving as well. It has been a dream of mine since I was a boy and to get an opportunity to live it is an awesome feeling. My favorite players when I was young were Ken Griffey Junior and Alex Rodriguez when he was young. My favorite Red was Barry Larkin.

RR: Describe the moment when you first heard you were drafted.

RW: The moment was definitely a combination of excitement and relief. It is a pretty stressful day waiting around for your name to be called but when it finally happens it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off and you can truly enjoy the situation you are in.

RR: What has been the biggest transition you have had to make from college ball to pro?

RW: The biggest difference from college to pro is knowing how to manage yourself from a day to day basis. You are on your own a lot more in pro ball and you are expected to handle yourself without any guidance. In college pretty much everything you do is controlled and there are people in place to keep you in line and make sure you are doing everything right.

RR: What's the average day like for a minor leaguer? Take us through one.

RW: An average day consists of getting as much sleep as possible because it is usually pretty hard to get to bed at a decent time. For me I like to be up at about 930 because if I sleep too late I feel way too tired. I like to drink coffee and watch sportscenter until I leave for the field at about noon. I either make my own lunch or get something to eat on the way to the field. I get there at about 1 and I like to hang out for a bit before I go hit in the cage or have early defensive work. Batting practice on the field usually starts at about 3 and and finishes so we have enough time to relax before game time. After the game basically you just go get food somewhere or make yourself dinner and try to get relaxed enough to get to sleep so you can do the exact same thing the next day.

RR: What do you like to do in your spare time? Any unusual talents or hobbies?

RW: I really just like to hang out with friends and family and take it easy. When I have free time I really enjoy going fishing but that can be difficult with my schedule. I don't really have any unusual talents or hobbies but I am a pretty good ping-pong player.

RR: Who is the best player you have ever played against?

RW: The best player I have played against was Jarrod Parker when he was a senior in high school and I was a junior. He was drafted 9th overall that year by the Diamondbacks and was in the bigs with the Athletics this year.

RR: If you weren't playing professional baseball for a living what would you be doing? Why?

RW: I really don't have that great of an idea other than it would be something in sports. Maybe working for a baseball team or coaching or working in an athletic department for a college.

RR: What's your favorite movie of all-time? Favorite singer/band? Favorite super hero? Celebrity crush?

RW: My favorite comedy movie of all time is dumb and dumber and it always will be. My favorite serious movie is probably Shawshank Redemption. I like a lot of different genres of music and tons of different singers so a favorite is impossible to choose. My favorite superhero is batman and celebrity crush is probably Carrie Underwood.

RR: What is the best Christmas gift you ever received?

RW: I cant think of a particular gift that is my favorite but just being surrounded with the family every Christmas is the best gift I could ask for.

RR: Do you follow any kind of offseason training regimen? Is there anything in particular that you are working on in preparation for 2013?

RW: I follow a pretty strict weight lifting and consigning regimen in the offseason. I really enjoy working out and being healthy so it is fun for me. I hit several times a week and I begin throwing after the new year. I also do a lot of defensive work. I am always trying to get a little bit faster and quicker and that will be a big emphasis this offseason.

RR: Let's say the Mayans were right and the world really is ending soon. What would your last meal consist of? Remember, you can choose anything your heart desires.

RW: It would have to be some kind of really good steak from a fancy steakhouse. I would say either Morton's or Ruth's Chris. And I would probably have about 5 of them.

RR: You were a standout football player in high school as well. Did you ever consider pursuing pigskin in college, or was baseball always your priority?

RW: I loved football a lot and still do to this day. I watch every game possible and am very knowledgeable about it. However, if I played football it would have been at a smaller school and i always knew baseball was my best shot at making a career out of. Baseball has always been my first love anyway so the decision was a no brainer.

RR: What's one thing that Reds fans should know about you that they may not already know?

RW: Something that a lot of people don't know is that I was a highly ranked tennis player when I was younger but I decided to give it up when I was 14 so I could play football.

Again, a huge thanks to Ryan for taking the time to do this. Be sure to follow him on Twitter (@RyanWright6)!

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