Q&A with Ryan Harvey

Ryan Harvey, the Cubs' first round pick in the 2003 draft, joined us for a Q&A earlier this week.                                                            

Q: Let's begin with the injury. How is that, and how are you feeling now?

A: The injury is fine. I'm playing like nothing ever happened. I just go out there and don't hold back. As you know, I stretched out my MCL and tore my ACL, but I'm fine now.

Q: Have you had to cut back or decrease anything noticeable since the injury occured?

A: No, not that I know of. I'm still stealing bases and am able to track down fly balls in the outfield and what have you, so I'm pretty much 100%.

Q: So how excited are you right now to finally be healthy and playing professional baseball?

A: I'm really excited. It's just been one of my dreams to play professional ball and hopefully I'll get to the majors pretty soon, because those are the real dreams.

Q: How do you cope with all the pressures from people who compare you to guys like Dale Murphy and Mark McGwire?

A: I really don't look at myself as a comparison of those two. I just go out there and do what I can do and hopefully down the road, I'll turn out to be as good as those guys. But I really don't try to live up to all the hype that everyone is comparing me to. I just play my own game and do as well as I can.

Q: You went to the same high school as Jim Hendry in Dunedin, Fla. When was the first time you got a chance to meet Jim?

A: The first time was when he came down to Florida and had me do a little workout at our high school field. He pretty much just watched me track down balls in the outfield and do some hitting. That's pretty much it.

Q: Where do you feel more comfortable hitting the ball?

A: I'm more of a line drive, gap hitter. The past few games, I've hit homeruns out to right field, so I pretty much hit it anywhere and everywhere. I just hit it where they pitch it!

Q: Who has helped you the most since joining the Cubs?

A: Well everyone really, in particular the guys down in Mesa. Carmelo Martinez, Ricardo Medina are two guys. And here in Boise, Tom Beyers. It's like night and day on how I swing the bat. Coach Beyers has helped me a lot in the outfield too.

Q: Describe your working relationship with Coach Beyers.

A: He relies on me to take what knowledge he's given me and put it into play. If he sees some stuff I need to work on, he'll tell me. Other than that, it's a lot of little stuff, you know? Such as how pitchers are throwing, etc.

Q: What are some of the adjustments you've had to make since joining the professional ranks?

A: I've had to calm myself down a little in terms of just jumping out at the ball. You have to react more to where the ball is thrown. Pretty much, you have to hit anything that's around the strike zone because all these pitchers throw just about everything for strikes. And you have to lay off the soft stuff until you get two strikes. The only thing I needed an adjustment was, was the velocity and the pitcher's, and their off-speed stuff so I can adjust and be ready to hit.

Q: Tell us a little about Memorial Stadium.

A: To right field, it's more of a hitter's park. The fences are pretty short. Right field is like a funnel with the wind, so if you hit a ball up in the air to right, it's pretty much going to the wall or over the fence. The ball carries really well, so I'd say it's more of a hitters park.

Q: When you were growing up, who were some of the ballplayers you grew up idolizing?

A: I used to pitch in high school, so my first real idol was Nolan Ryan. I really idolized Frank thomas and Ken Griffey, Jr. as well.

Q: What do you do when you're not at the park? Like for fun?

A: Around here, we don't have too much spare time. We have to be at the field at like 1:30 or 2:00 every day and play until 11:00. Whenever we have an off-day, I like to golf and just hang out with friends, fish, that kind of stuff.

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