As of now on my 5th interview, the interview process for me just seems to get easier with each interview. Jordan Ribera, a former College World Series champion, was kind enough to give me an interview as a member of the Modesto Nuts. Here's the recap of the interview:
Who are some of the toughest pitchers you've faced so far this year?
Answer: The lefty Wandy Peralta from the Bakersfield Blaze, Bryce Bandilla and Matt Lujan from the San Jose Giants. Peralta works quick, he has a good two seam fastball that has good movement on it. Bandilla has great accuracy and he can throw 95-97 mph on his fastball. Lujan has a great curve ball and really fools hitters with his off-speed pitches.
What are some of your biggest fears when you are up to the plate?
Answer: Getting hit in the head with a fastball.
When and where was your first professional home run?
Answer: I was with the Tri-City Dust Devils vs. Boise Hawks in Boise. It was a 3-1 fastball, and it hit the top of the fence and bounced off the top of the wall and went off.
How do you change your approach against a side-arm or submarine pitcher?
Answer: It's completely different; the ball tails and it sinks.
What are some of your baseball related "pet-peeves"?
Answer: When a pitcher works too fast and when you don't have time to get out off the box. It's also frustrating when you can't step out and break the pitcher's rhythm.
When is the biggest stereotype about minor leaguers that common fans perceive?
Answer: The financial aspects of the minor leagues. I make about $1,100 a month so it's not much to live on. FUN FACT: I did the calculations and let's say that there are 30 days a month. A typical minor league team has about 1-2 days off a month. An average minor league baseball player at the Class A advanced level makes about $12.64-$13.09 a game. That's not much to live on.
Interesting facts about you are....?
Answer: I'm a great cook and I like anything that includes a board (wakeboard, surfboard, skateboard, etc.)
What was your favorite professional team growing up?
Answer: The Cincinnati Reds.
What are your individual goals?
Answer: To finish strong, improve power numbers and to continue to play better.
What is the coolest name in minor league baseball besides your own?
Answer: The El Paso Chihuahuas.
When do you believe you'll be contributing in the Majors?
Answer: I hope to be contributing in 2 1/2 years.
What do you plan to do after baseball?
Answer: Coach or get into real estate. Real Estate has always been something I've wanted to do.
Were you a dual or single sport athlete growing up?
Answer: I was a dual sport athlete. I was actually recruited by Fresno State to play football instead of baseball. If I did play football, I would've been a middle linebacker.
How was it like playing at Fresno State?
Answer: It was an enthralling experience. I won the College World Series when I was a freshman. I equally enjoyed playing under Mike Batesole , the manager for the Bulldogs.
How did it feel to be Western Athletic Conference player of the year?
Answer: It was a honor and I felt that all the hard work paid off.