Angels Prospect Interview: Drew Toussaint

We recently caught up with Angels prospect Drew Toussaint, playing with Rancho Cucamonga of the California League, to talk about his defensive play in left field after coming up as an infielder, staying aggressive on the basepaths and his off-season preparation for the long haul.

Having played infield for most of your career, how has the transition to left field been from day one to today?

Drew Toussaint: It is getting better everyday. Last year, at the beginning of the year I was shaky and then I made big strides in Instructs and feel pretty comfortable out there and have been able to make plays.

What has been the biggest challenge thus far in playing out there?

Drew Toussaint: Just being ready for the ball; reacting and reading the ball as it is hit instead of running to where I think it is.

Does that come from batting practice and chasing every ball?

Drew Toussaint: Reps and getting a read on it. Not just running towards every ball but a lot of times just get my body going in the right direction.

How do you handle bigger parks and a place like Lake Elsinore with the huge alleyway between left and center?

Drew Toussaint: You have to go after the ball like it is a regular field. Not too many guys are going to hit it out there (in parks with deep alleys) on a regular basis and if they do hit it out there it is going to get caught.

Can you maintain the aggressiveness on the basepaths with power and how do you balance it?

Drew Toussaint: You have to be aggressive. In this organization you have to be a lot more things than just hit the ball for power. If you get to the big leagues, you have to be able to run the bases well, bunt and do a lot of other things. That is what they preach, aggressiveness on the bases.

Are you given freedom to go on any pitch?

Drew Toussaint: He gives us the green light if he sees something and if we see something we can relay a message to him and he will let us go.

This is a leading question – talk about your off-season preparation for another long season.

Drew Toussaint: The first couple of months was rest and getting my body back together. Then the last two months were getting my body in condition since that was the most important part to take all the dinks and little injuries that affect you during the season and wear you down.

Now the reason I asked the previous question was because August was terrible for you – was it a stamina thing?

Drew Toussaint: Probably. While you are playing, you don't really think so. But after you look over it – yeah, I probably wore down. It was my worst month and the funny part is the last week of the season was when I got over that wall and started to get hot again. If we had three more weeks…

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