THE FOLLOWING IS A TRANSCRIPT FROM AN INTERVIEW BETWEEN TAYLOR BLAKE WARD OF SCOUT.COM AND LOS ANGELES ANGELS PROSPECT, MICHAEL HERMOSILLO. THE INTERVIEW TOOK PLACE AT 4:45 PM PT ON APRIL 4, 2017.
TW: How was Major League camp?
MH: Awesome. Obviously it's always awesome to be around big leaguers, especially when you're aspiring to be one. Being around Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun, Cameron Maybin, Ben Revere, Eric Young, Shane Robinson, all of them. They've all had some type of big league experience whether it's a lot or a little, so you just try to pick everyone's brain and try to take something from everyone and just watch what they're doing. Just seeing what Trout and Calhoun do in the cages or outfield, seeing how they go about their business, you just try and learn from that and impliment it in your game.
TW: Was there anyone in particular that took you under their wing?
MH: Cameron Maybin, Eric Young Jr., Ben Revere - those were pretty much the guys that kind of took me under their wing. They took me out to dinner one night. We just spent a lot of time talking in the outfield a lot, especially to Maybin about hitting. Eric Young was more just off the field stuff, staying focused, staying in the moment. But Maybin and I talked a lot about hitting. I watched him a couple times in the cages, just his routine and what not. I took something from everyone but I'd say those are the main three guys I talked to all the time.
TW: Who bought dinner?
MH: I think Revere did (smirks). Maybin actually had to take us on a different dinner with Jose Briceno and Matt Thaiss, so I think Revere got that one (laughs).
TW: Who were you rooming with during Spring Training?
MH: I actually live in Tempe, so I was just at home.
TW: Getting in to a game and hitting a home run, what was that like?
MH: That was my first experience in big league camp. Some guys get to go up even if they're in minor league camp and I'd never had that experience. It was all new to me from the start and being able to hit a home run at the Cubs place - I grew up a Cubs fan - my mom and dad were in the stands, I had some cousins there, my girlfriend was there so it was cool. Just to be able to do that and just in general it was awesome. I feel like I did well. I feel like I showed them I'm capable of playing at that level and just try to take advantage of every opportunity that I had.
TW: In the Arizona Fall League, you got to play with Tim Tebow. How was that?
MH: It was awesome. I actually picked his brain a lot. He's big into eating healthy, PH water, the good water like alkaline water. It kind of got me interested in that thing just because he's 100% clean in everything he eats and as a guy he's just inspirational. I was kind of one the guys on the fence when he first (tried baseball), like 'what's he doing?' After talking to him and being around him every day, he just really wants to play baseball and have that opportunity. He's a great teammate and if anyone, especially in the Mets organization, if they can just learn anything from him it's going to be something they can take with them.
TW: What was the hype like playing next to him?
MH: I think it was fun. It got more people in the stands. Obviously it's the Fall League and a lot of prospects so you already have people coming, but playing in Scottsdale and having Tim Tebow on your team didn't hurt the attendance at all. We'd have pretty good crowds and being able to play in front of that many people was cool. It didn't distract us, it was more fun than anything.
TW: You got hurt out there?
MH: Sprained my thumb diving for a ball. It took about two or two-and-a-half weeks to heal. I was ready to go with about three days left, but they'd shut me down already. But everything is good with the hands and legs and everything now.
TW: Over the off-season, a lot of outlets jumped on the Michael Hermosillo bandwagon. What did it feel like seeing your name everywhere on prospect rankings?
MH: It's definitely cool to get the recognition but you also try to not get too caught up in it. While I did have a good year last year it doesn't mean anything when it comes to this year. You still have to go and improve yourself every day. It's good to have the recognition but I think I just focus on the people in my corner and who have believed in me from the start. My parents, family, friends, people like that. That's what keeps me going and when you focus on the negatives or the people who are not talking about you, it just brings you down. The more people that want to jump on the wagon, that's great, I'll take it. But at the end of the day, as long as I have my core support, I'm going to be good.
TW: What's the main thing you'd like to improve this year?
MH: I always want to cut down my strikeouts more-and-more. That's just been a thing with me. I know I've always been good about having a good approach and understanding the strike zone, but if I can just continue to cut down strikeouts and get more walks and have more quality at bats and swing at good pitches. That's pretty much my goal this year is to have as many quality at bats as possible and then secondly I would say on the bases. Show that I'm capable of being a base stealer. I think there's been some weird situations where I've had hamstring issues or kind of struggled at the plate in the past when I did feel good, so I think hopefully this will be the year where I can get on base, show my speed and maybe put that in the back of the minds of the coaches in Anaheim. You never know in September, I hope the Angels have that opportunity to be playing in the playoffs and if I can prove that's something I can do that helps me.
TW: Is there anything Mike Scioscia or Billy Eppler told you to work on?
MH: I think the biggest thing for me was the quality at bats. That's something I already do pretty well and they just want me to pretty much consistently focus on having good at bats. Also, not necessarily being a leader vocally but just being a leader in the clubhouse and on the field. Just how I go about my business and things like that. They want me to show what I've learned from the big league camp and bring it and impliment it here. Whatever they stress, anything from being a leader to being a good teammate or playing hard, running good 90's, anything like that. That's one of Scioscia's things is you wouldn't think that in the big leagues, but he wants people to get after it. He wants people to work hard and run down the line hard, so I think that's pretty thing from their stand point was to just come in and continue doing what I'm doing and take on that aspect of showing a leadership role.