Austin Schotts: Exclusive Interview with Detroit Tigers Prospect
Austin Schotts Interview
Back in December, I took a look at the top ten prospects in the Detroit Tigers farm system. One of the players I chose was Austin Schotts, an outfielder that was drafted by the Tigers in the third round of the 2012 MLB Draft.
Schotts was drafted as a shortstop out of Centennial High School in Texas, but has since been converted to center fielder by the Tigers. In 2012, Schotts spent the majority of the year with the GCL Tigers. As a member of the GCL Tigers, Schotts put up a batting average of .310 and on-base percentage of .360. Schotts also posted 48 hits, 31 runs and 21 RBIs.
The Tigers new outfielder is now the fastest player in the team’s farm system. In 2012, Schotts had 15 stolen bases and was caught stealing only four times. This speed is one of the reasons why Schotts was converted to outfield and why he is considered the center fielder of the future. Schotts could be the starting centerfielder for Detroit by 2015 or 2016.
Despite missing part of the season for GCL, Schotts was named the team’s Player of the Year. Schotts sat out part of the year with a dislocated finger.
At 19 years of age, Schotts still has a lot to improve on. Schotts will most likely start the 2013 season with the Tigers Single-A affiliate West Michigan Whitecaps. Be sure to follow Schotts on Twitter and watch this young prospect’s career.
I recently had the chance to interview Schotts about his goals and accomplishments. Click through to find out who his favorite Tigers player is and who he idolized growing up.
Favorite Team and Player Growing Up
Chris Katje: Who was your favorite baseball team growing up?
Austin Schotts: I never really watched too much t.v. growing up. I was outside every minute I could be. When I did watch I would watch individual players more than a certain team.
CK: Who were your favorite players growing up?
AS: I always liked to watch clips of Rickey Henderson and Pete Rose. I like how aggressive they were.
CK: I recently got one of your first baseball cards (2012 Bowman Chrome). What was your reaction when you saw the card and how did you find it?
AS: Someone had texted my mom and told her that my card was on Ebay. She took a picture and texted it to me. I had no idea I even had a card out there so it was really cool. I have a new card coming out with Panini soon.
CK: Did you collect cards growing up? Any plans to collect cards of yourself?
AS: I never collected cards growing up but my uncle did and gave my brother and I a whole bunch. I doubt I will collect my cards but my mom will. Bowman didn’t give us any so my mom actually ordered a few off Ebay.
Detroit Tigers Drafting Austin Schotts
CK: Where were you when you found out the Detroit Tigers had drafted you? What was your initial reaction?
AS: I was at my house sitting in front of the computer watching. I had decided that if I wasn’t drafted in the first three rounds I would go to college at Oklahoma State. I wasn’t called until pick 121 so when my name was called I was beyond excited.
CK: You were drafted right out of high school. Do you think you will miss the college experience that some of your teammates will have?
AS: Not really. My mom played tennis at Oklahoma State which is where I was going to go so I have heard tons of stories. I am sure it would have been a great time but to start living my dream and playing baseball everyday definitely was where my heart was. I don’t regret that decision one bit!
Signing Bonus Purchase
CK: What was your first purchase with your draft signing bonus?
AS: I bought my first car
Moving Away From Texas
CK: What it you and your family’s reaction to your move away from home?
AS: It’s always been my dream to play ball and my family knew that if I got drafted I would leave right away. We miss each other but in the end I am doing what I love to do so we all were ok with it.
CK: Are you familiar with Grand Rapids, Erie or Toledo, all potential stops for you on the way to the majors?
AS: I have never been to any of them but can’t wait to! I actually have family in Michigan that I have never met before so it would be really cool to play there and meet them. Plus so many people from Michigan have been following me since I got drafted so I would love to meet them someday too.
Strengths and Weaknesses
CK: Your speed has been mentioned as one of your key assets. What other strengths do you think might accelerate your path through the minor leagues?
AS: I think my hitting and the aggressive way I play the game help me.
CK: What areas would you like to improve on before you reach the majors?
AS: Everything. I always want to be better in every area.
Switch From SS to OF
CK: You were switched from shortstop to the outfield, what was the toughest part of the transition?
AS: The transition has been pretty easy. Reading the ball off the bat is a little different. It is a lot slower pace than the infield
Favorite Current Players
CK: Who is your favorite current or past Detroit Tigers player?
AS: Miguel Cabrera
CK: Who would you compare your all around baseball game to?
AS: Mike Trout
CK: Do you have any embarrassing moments from your baseball career?
AS: My first professional at-bat I pimped a home run and it ended up being a double off the wall.
Walk Up Song
CK: What song will you choose as your walk up music for the 2013 season?
AS: My walk up song has always been “Shots” by LMFAO. Not only is it my last name but it is provocative and gets the people going.