Thursday, January 17, 2008
Q&A with Garrett Olson
Twins Hitting Prospect
Good morning all! It is time for another Q&A with another Twins minor league prospect. Garrett Olson was drafted by the Twins in the 4th round of the 2006 draft out of Division II Franklin Pierce College. The New Hampshire college is obviously named after America's 14th president who was born in the same state. After Olson was drafted, there were several stories about the conference that he played college in using wood bats. He spent that summer with the Elizabethton Twins. Last year, he was on the very strong Beloit team that advanced to the Midwest League championship series. Olson is a very versatile player who can play several positions. By the last couple of games of the championship series, he was back to playing shortstop for the Snappers. Scouts believe that he will add power as he continues to play. In 2008, Olson could go back to Beloit, but my guess is that he will move up to Ft. Myers.
I asked Garrett if he would mind doing a Q&A for the site and he agreed. So, thank you to Garrett for taking the time to do this. I think you will enjoy it. It is always fun to learn a little bit more about some of the Twins prospects. Feel free to e-mail me any questions or comments. Or, leave some comments at the bottom and discuss. Who knows? Maybe Garrett will check it out and be willing to answer some of your questions here. If you are interested in viewing his career stats, click here.
Let the Questions Begin!
SethSpeaks: Growing up in Maine, who was your favorite team, and who were some of your favorite players to follow?
Garrett Olson: Of course if you Grow up in Maine you cheer for the RedSox. Growing up i always liked to watch Nomar and Griffey.
SethSpeaks: Tell us a little bit about your high school baseball career. What positions did you play and such?
I played a lot of different positions in
high school. My first year of Varsity i Played left field and pitched. Yeah i
Pitched in Maine everyone pitches. Junior year i played Outfield and then moved
to Catcher. Senior year i played short stop and pitched.
SethSpeaks: Did you participate in any other activities in high school?
Garrett Olson: In high school i played Golf, Football and some basketball, i was also a big freestyle skier.
SethSpeaks: You went to Franklin Pierce College. Were you heavily recruited coming out of high school?
Garrett Olson: No I wasn't heavily recruited at all, Maine isn't a big stop on scouts list. I knew two of my friends from high school that played ball there and loved it. So I checked it out and thought it would be a great fit for me.
SethSpeaks: For those in the Upper Midwest, tell us a little about Franklin Pierce College.
Garrett Olson: Franklin Pierce College correction now Franklin Pierce UNIVERSITY is a small division 2 school in south west New Hampshire. Franklin Pierce only has about 2,000 students, but prides it self in athletics.
SethSpeaks: If you weren't playing pro baseball, what would your career of choice be?
Garrett Olson: I would be playing golf some where i use to be a scratch golfer in high school but its tough to keep the game sharp these days.
SethSpeaks: What was your major, and do you intend to continue your education?
Garrett Olson: I majored in graphic communication, I still have one year left of school and intend to complete my degree as soon as im able to. Im not sure if i will ever use my degree or not in the future.
SethSpeaks: The Twins drafted you in the 4th round in the 2006 draft. Were you expecting to be selected at that time? Had you been in contact with the Twins scouts much?
Garrett Olson: I was expecting to go around then but wasnt sure to who. I had some contact with the Twins but wasnt expecting them to pick me. I really didnt have any clue who was going to take me. I sure was happy to see they Twins pop up though and not the Yankees, haha
SethSpeaks: Who were some of the people most instrumental in your growth as a player and have helped you get to this point in your career?
Garrett Olson: First of course i would have to say my parents who taught me many valuable lessons, including my passion for athletics. The most influential person in my baseball career would have to be my college coach Jason King. His knowledge of the game and his ability to convey to his players was unbelievable. There is no way i would be where i am today with out all the hard work that he put in.
SethSpeaks: You signed and reported to Tennessee to play for the Elizabethton Twins. What was the adjustment to pro baseball like for you?
Garrett Olson: E-Town was amazing, The coaches there made the transition very easy.
SethSpeaks: How would you describe yourself as a player. What would you say are your strengths, and what areas do you feel you need to most improve on as you advance?
Garrett Olson: I think im a very versatile player that can play anywhere in the field. I would say my biggest strength would be my athletic ability and knowledge of the game. The biggest thing i feel i need to improve on as i advance would be more consistency from at bat to at bat.
SethSpeaks: You moved up to A ball this year and the Beloit Snappers. What type of adjustments were necessary throughout the season?
Garrett Olson: with a 140 game schedule you play teams dozens of times a year. So teams would have plan every time they faced you. The biggest adjustments were trying to figure that out.
SethSpeaks: You played all over the field for the Snappers, primarily 3B, but also 1B, SS and in the OF. Where are you most comfortable, and how important is it to have some versatility?
Garrett Olson: I love playing ss but i really dont care where i play on the field i feel comfortable any where. In the minors its very important to be versatile because you can get a lot more playing time.
SethSpeaks: Your pitching staff was really impressive, especially down the stretch. Can you speak briefly about Alex Burnett, Tyler Robertson, Cole DeVries and the rest of the pitching staff?
Garrett Olson: They were all great pitchers that really stepped it up down the stretch. Robertson is something to look out for ive never seen someone that can make pro hitters look as foolish as he could make lefties look.
SethSpeaks: When guys like Manship, Johnny Woodard, Danny Valencia and Brian Dinkelman were promoted to Ft. Myers, did that have any affect on your or the team, or do you just understand that that is the goal in the minor leagues.
It was obvious to most everyone on the team they
were going to move, but thats a part of the minors. We had a lot of guys step
up and fill some roles and made a great run though the playoffs.
SethSpeaks: Based on your 2007 numbers, will you try to set any goals for 2008 in terms of numbers, or what are the goals you have for yourself.
Garrett Olson: 2007 was a really frustrating year for me hitting wise. I had never gone though some of the struggles that i did during the year. It was the year of many adjustments for me. Going into 2008 im going to set some new goals for my self and try to stay out of those slumps.
SethSpeaks: Are there certain stats that you look at for yourself more than others?
Garrett Olson: I try not to get concern myself with stats that much, i try to just have consistent at bats and a good approach at the plate and the stats will be there if you can do that.
SethSpeaks: So, what have you been up to this offseason? Do you take some time away from baseball? When do you start preparing for the 2008 season?
Garrett Olson: I always take off until the end of November to rest up and get my body healthy. Oh and most importantly do some hunting. Other then that ive been spending some time with my family and friends.
SethSpeaks: What are your hobbies away from baseball?
Hunting and Golf. But Maine doesnt really
have the weather for golf in the winter. So i usually spend most of the off
SethSpeaks: What do you hunt?
i hunt anything that moves. Mostly i hunt white
tail deer, ducks, geese and now its coyote hunting time. You can hunt them at
night in maine so thats always fun.
SethSpeaks: What will it be like to put on a Twins uniform for the first time in a regular season game?
Garrett Olson: Probably they best experience of my life.
SethSpeaks: What is one thing that you would like Twins fans to know about you?
Garrett Olson: I hate shoveling my driveway too.
A big thank you to Garrett Olson for taking the time to answer all of these questions. Let me know what you think. Send me an e-mail, or let's talk about it in the Comments here.