Here's my Q&A with Blue Jays prospect Jake Marisnick, age 20, a third-round pick in the 2009 draft out of Riverside, Calif.
What was the biggest lesson learned from your first full pro season? "Not to worry about things that have already happened. Its a long season. Always look to improve from day to day and not worry about the past."
Is there anything you are doing differently this off-season to prepare for the long grind? "I feel like my body and mind were pretty well prepared for the long season, so I'm going to keep a very similar off-season schedule."
In terms of development, what aspect of your game needs the most improvement? Have the Blue Jays identified something specific they want you to work on in 2012? "I think just getting stronger and continuing to build on my approach as a hitter are my biggest keys going forward."
|Jake Marisnick has a drop-and-drive swing that produced 14 homers and 47 extra-base hits last season. He batted .320 and stole 37 bases at Lansing.|
Let's talk about the mental side of the game. I've read that you're a tough self-critic. How do you measure success at the end of the day? "I really started focusing on the mental side of the game this past year, and I feel it helped me greatly. At the end of the day, I measure my success by the adjustments made during the day, whether it be in the cages, during batting practice, live in the game, defensively or base running. I just remind myself if I take small steps each day, I will greatly improve my game over the course of a long season."
If you were a psychologist, what would you say to Jake Marisnick about his mental approach? "Just to be easier on myself. I tend to be pretty hard on myself from time to time but I feel like it's a good way to learn. If I'm always easy on myself, it's hard to make corrections that are needed."
How did you get so fast? Where do the good genes come from in your family? "It's hard to say. I have a lot of pretty good athletes in my family. I lean more towards my mom's side, though. My dad won't agree, but it's probably true."
What's the most memorable game of your amateur career? What's the worst? "It's hard to pick out just one memorable game, but the worst would have to have be losing the last game of my senior year. After four years in high school, my team lost in the semifinals by one run, and it was hard to grasp that we lost."
Sounds like your mother has done wonders for your career. Explain. (Jennifer Marisnick is a senior director at Reynolds Sports Management.) "She has just given me a lot of opportunities to talk to people with experience in baseball. It has helped me greatly with the mental side of the game. That exposure has definitely helped me become the player I have become today."
What are your personal goals for 2012? "Just to improve my all-around game from day to day."