Q&A With Jays' 22nd Round Pick Josh Almonte

We talked to the Blue Jays' 22nd round pick, Josh Almonte, for a Q&A session. Find out what the outfielder from Long Island City High School in New York has to say about his game, his strengths and weaknesses, who he would compare his game to at the big league level, if he's looking to sign quickly, and more!

FutureJays.com: Congratulations on being drafted first and foremost. Where were you when you found out you were selected by the Blue Jays and what went through your head?

Josh Almonte: I was actually on the subway train heading home from school and I got a call from my advisor saying that the Blue Jays had selected me in the 22nd round. I got really really happy. I also got a call from the scout right after that. I was honored to be drafted by such a well [run] organization like the Toronto Blue Jays. I was extremely happy.

FutureJays.com: Who was the first person you told when you found out?

Almonte: I actually called my high school coach. I definitely had to call him first and thank him for everything he's done for me. Then I called my parents and they were stoked. It [was] a good day.

FutureJays.com: Talk about your baseball game some and your strengths and weaknesses.

Almonte: I think definitely my strengths are speed and arm-wise. Like everybody else, one of the things everyone has to work on is improving their hitting. Work on hitting the ball to all parts of the field. Everyone should work on that. Nobody's perfect at hitting.

FutureJays.com: What about defensively?

Almonte: I feel like my defense is definitely my strongest tool as of now. I cover the ball well, I have great speed. I find playing defense as something that just clicks. Ya know, when the ball is hit to me the reaction is something I don't think about doing. It comes to me as the ball comes.

FutureJays.com: You played outfield in high school. Did the Jays talk to you about what position you'll be playing or are they going to shift you around in the outfield?

Almonte: Not yet. They said I was drafted as a right fielder. I just feel honored. I don't really mind as long as I'm playing the outfield. Outfield is where I feel comfortable and where I love to play at.

FutureJays.com: Who was your biggest influence growing up to pursue a baseball career?

Almonte: My mother was. My mom always really pushed me to be the great player I am. At the lowest points of my young baseball career, she's definitely the one that's been pushing me and telling me that everything is going to be fine and that I'm a great player. She said don't stress it and just play and you'll be great. She's had the most impact on my baseball career so far.

FutureJays.com: The Blue Jays have been awfully busy in this draft and have gotten a lot of good young talent. Have you talked to your new teammates yet or plan to talk to them soon?

Almonte: I want to. I want to meet the guys that I'll be playing with. Hopefully that will happen soon. I haven't talked to any of them yet.

FutureJays.com: Who would you compare yourself to at the Major League level right now?

Almonte: That's hard. I love seeing Curtis Granderson play the outfield, I love seeing Josh Hamilton play the outfield. My favorite outfielder to see play is definitely Curtis Granderson.

FutureJays.com: Who was your favorite team growing up and did you have a favorite player?

Almonte: My favorite team growing up was definitely the New York Yankees. As of now I think I'm switching to become a Toronto Blue Jays fan.

FutureJays.com: You're committed to go play college baseball at Miami Dade College. Have you thought about the decision between playing there and the majors now?

Almonte: My dream is to play professional baseball. Having that scholarship to Miami Dade just really makes it hard. In a couple of weeks I'll have to talk to my parents and advisor to see what's best for me and my baseball career.

FutureJays.com: Talk about what you bring to the table as a player and why Blue Jay fans should be excited about you?

Almonte: I love to work. I'm not a player who takes criticism as a bad thing. I love to prove people wrong. My work ethic has always been there since I was a young kid. I'm just stoked. I can't wait to start my career there if that's the decision I decide to make. I'm honored to be selected by a great organization like the Toronto Blue Jays.


Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nFutureJays.com: Congratulations on being drafted first and foremost. Where were you when you found out you were selected by the Blue Jays and what went through your head?
\r\n
\r\nJosh Almonte: I was actually on the subway train heading home from school and I got a call from my advisor saying that the Blue Jays had selected me in the 22nd round. I got really really happy. I also got a call from the scout right after that. I was honored to be drafted by such a well [run] organization like the Toronto Blue Jays. I was extremely happy.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: Who was the first person you told when you found out?
\r\n
\r\nAlmonte: I actually called my high school coach. I definitely had to call him first and thank him for everything he's done for me. Then I called my parents and they were stoked. It [was] a good day.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: Talk about your baseball game some and your strengths and weaknesses.
\r\n
\r\nAlmonte: I think definitely my strengths are speed and arm-wise. Like everybody else, one of the things everyone has to work on is improving their hitting. Work on hitting the ball to all parts of the field. Everyone should work on that. Nobody's perfect at hitting.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: What about defensively?
\r\n
\r\nAlmonte: I feel like my defense is definitely my strongest tool as of now. I cover the ball well, I have great speed. I find playing defense as something that just clicks. Ya know, when the ball is hit to me the reaction is something I don't think about doing. It comes to me as the ball comes.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: You played outfield in high school. Did the Jays talk to you about what position you'll be playing or are they going to shift you around in the outfield?
\r\n
\r\nAlmonte: Not yet. They said I was drafted as a right fielder. I just feel honored. I don't really mind as long as I'm playing the outfield. Outfield is where I feel comfortable and where I love to play at.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: Who was your biggest influence growing up to pursue a baseball career?
\r\n
\r\nAlmonte: My mother was. My mom always really pushed me to be the great player I am. At the lowest points of my young baseball career, she's definitely the one that's been pushing me and telling me that everything is going to be fine and that I'm a great player. She said don't stress it and just play and you'll be great. She's had the most impact on my baseball career so far.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: The Blue Jays have been awfully busy in this draft and have gotten a lot of good young talent. Have you talked to your new teammates yet or plan to talk to them soon?
\r\n
\r\nAlmonte: I want to. I want to meet the guys that I'll be playing with. Hopefully that will happen soon. I haven't talked to any of them yet.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: Who would you compare yourself to at the Major League level right now?
\r\n
\r\nAlmonte: That's hard. I love seeing Curtis Granderson play the outfield, I love seeing Josh Hamilton play the outfield. My favorite outfielder to see play is definitely Curtis Granderson.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: Who was your favorite team growing up and did you have a favorite player?
\r\n
\r\nAlmonte: My favorite team growing up was definitely the New York Yankees. As of now I think I'm switching to become a Toronto Blue Jays fan.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: You're committed to go play college baseball at Miami Dade College. Have you thought about the decision between playing there and the majors now?
\r\n
\r\nAlmonte: My dream is to play professional baseball. Having that scholarship to Miami Dade just really makes it hard. In a couple of weeks I'll have to talk to my parents and advisor to see what's best for me and my baseball career.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: Talk about what you bring to the table as a player and why Blue Jay fans should be excited about you?
\r\n
\r\nAlmonte: I love to work. I'm not a player who takes criticism as a bad thing. I love to prove people wrong. My work ethic has always been there since I was a young kid. I'm just stoked. I can't wait to start my career there if that's the decision I decide to make. I'm honored to be selected by a great organization like the Toronto Blue Jays.
\r\n
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