“I think that is one of the cooler parts about baseball, the universality of it”
Q: What have you noticed to be the biggest difference between baseball played in the US versus other countries?
A: I think that is one of the cooler parts about baseball, the universality of it. The game is played all around the world but it is still played the same way. The goal is to get batters out and to score more runs than the other team. However, I have been able to learn from a vast number of different baseball backgrounds. While I was in New Zealand, I was fortunate enough to play with not only professional Kiwi (New Zealanders), Aussie (Australians) baseball players, but as well as professional American, Canadian, Japanese, Taiwanese and Chinese players too.
Not to mention my own experiences playing baseball in Canada and spending four years at Bryan in Tennessee. The game stays the same but the experiences from the people who play it change and I think that is where you can learn the most from each other. Personally, one difference I had growing up was pitching to wood bats during my high school years.
I learned how to break bats and pitch against wood but when I got to college where they use metal, I realized that if a batter hits a ball with a metal bat (where it would typically break a wood bat for a weak out) it could still be hit decently hard for a base hit.
Q: How much do the Royals utilize analytics and the Rapsodo pitching machine in the lower levels of the organization? Also, what was your initial reaction to Ned Yost retiring?
A: I think the Royals have done a great job of using the newer technology that is becoming more prevalent in baseball. I have access to any of my appearances or any statistical information that I want to look at, as well as the option to use the technology that we have available at our affiliate. I think that sometimes players can get lost in the abundance of analytical information that we have available to us and take it at face value while not understanding it.
So I think there should be a fine line with taking in all this information but not becoming too saturated with it. I was shocked at first to hear that Ned Yost was retiring and while I have never met him personally, I respect and admire the work that he has done for the Kansas City Royals organization and the Kansas City community. I believe him to be one of the more respectable managers in all of baseball and his presence will be missed.