Philadelphia Phillies Prospect Jiwan James Answers Five Questions

October 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Philadelphia Phillies prospect and Lakewood BlueClaws center fielder Jiwan James was kind enough to answer a few questions for Bleacher Report correspondent Jim Sheridan.

JS: Thanks for taking the time Jiwan, congratulations on winning both halves and the championship with Lakewood this season. Before we get to baseball, I have to ask you how do the beaches in New Jersey compare to the ones in your home state of Florida?

JJ: Thanks. Honestly I never even went down to the beaches. On our days off I pretty much laid in bed all day and just sat at the house.

JS: Has your transition from pitcher to everyday player helped you at the plate?

JJ: Not at all, pitching and hitting are two totally different worlds. From a hitter’s standpoint I’m up there looking fastball every pitch and just trying to react to the off speed stuff. I can’t read the pitcher’s mind, so I’m not going to go up there guessing curve or slider or anything and then get blown away by a fastball. Maybe later on in my career when the scouting reports are pretty much perfect then I’ll be able to sit on something other than a fastball, but for now I’m sitting dead red.

JS: July was an incredible month for you, hitting .361 with a 24-game hitting streak mixed in. You cooled off in August and September. Did playing in 133 games this season catch up to you?

JJ: As much as I hate to make excuses for anything, I’m going to have to say yes. This was my first full season and I’ve never played that many games before. I talked to Domonic Brown about it, and he told me that’s just part of being in your first full season, and that August and September will get easier for me every year.

JS: Having guys like Domonic Brown to let you know what to expect is huge. You had a .990 fielding percentage in center field this season, and BlueClaw manager Mark Parent said that you were outstanding in the field. Has your speed and conditioning changed since you became an everyday player?

JJ: Yes, having Domonic Brown and my buddy from home Esix Snead, who helped me get through the first two months of the season when I was struggling helps out a lot. I think I’ve gotten faster since the switch. As a position player you always want to come back faster the next season than you were before, so the offseason training comes to play there. My conditioning has changed. I went from running 15-20 minutes a day to sprints and agility stuff.

JS: At what age did you become a switch hitter? Would you recommend it to youngsters just getting started?

JJ: I’ve been able to hit from both sides of the plate since I was about seven. But it was nothing I ever took serious. It was more of me being a showoff to my friends playing sandlot baseball when we were younger. Lefty became pretty much my dominant side as I got older but I’d always jump on the right side every now and then through out middle school and high school just to see that I still could do it. Now that it’s something I need, I’m trying to play catch up from the right side.

JS: Last one Jiwan, are you bulking up at all? What are you weighing in at?

JJ: I just weighed in like two days ago down here at 195. When I reported to spring training early in February I was at just over 200. So I lost a few pounds throughout the course of the season. My plan is to bulk up more and get bigger and stronger. It’s the only way your going to survive in this game. I’m looking to come back at 205 or better, so we’ll see how that goes.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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