Spring Camp Q&A: Adam Greenberg

MESA, Ariz.—The year 2005 is projected to be Adam Greenberg's first full season above Class-A ball. We caught up with Greenberg recently to get his thoughts so far this spring.            

Inside The Ivy: What did your off-season consist of, and what were some of the things you did to stay in shape?

Adam Greenberg: After the season ended, I had about 10 days off in between the end of the playoffs in Iowa and the start of the Arizona Fall League. After the Fall League, I went to Atlanta, where I took some time off and enjoyed my off-season for about two weeks before getting back into the swing of things. It was in Atlanta where I got a membership at a local gym with a couple of my teammates and started working out about five times a week through conditioning on the turf and just following the Cubs' off-season workout regime that they supply for us. I didn't do much as far as hitting or throwing until after Jan. 1 in order to let my body recover and give it some time to rest for the long season ahead.

Inside The Ivy: How confident are you heading into camp knowing this will likely be your first full year above Class-A ball?

Adam Greenberg: I feel like my game has taken a lot of positive strides in the right direction, so I'm confident. I feel I have a better understanding of the type of hitter I am and the kind of player I hope to build on every year. I've worked with a lot of different people and played at a higher level each year, which in turn makes me feel better. Just with that, I feel pretty confident with myself and how hard I've worked.

Inside The Ivy: You went from a leadoff hitter to a No. 3 or 5 hitter in the lineup last year. Was there anything different in your approach at the plate?

Adam Greenberg: Certainly at the beginning, I kind of felt like I needed to be more productive with the bat. I wasn't as focused on taking pitches, working the count and trying to get on base, nor was I thinking of bunting very often. Unfortunately at the beginning of the season, those things effected my performance because I was a little out of my realm as to what I‘ve been trying to do over the years. It was certainly a little different, and when I spoke to a couple of my coaches, we basically came to the agreement that I needed to get back to the main thing I've been good at my whole career—doing whatever it takes to get on base.

Inside The Ivy: What did you learn most from your experiences last year playing at three different levels of minor league ball?

Adam Greenberg: Well, I certainly got to see the difference between A-ball and Triple-A. Obviously, the guys are older in Triple-A, and they've been around the game more, but just the overall baseball knowledge was very important to me. You just kind of sit back and hear what they have to say about the game, which is a little different than the lower levels where you try to find out what approach works for you. The higher up you get, you start talking more specifically about individual pitchers and how you get pitched in different situations. I had a great time at each level I was at, but learning about the game was probably the biggest and best thing I got out of it.

Inside The Ivy: You've played a little bit of all three outfield spots the last two years. Which do you see yourself most accustomed to or acquainted with?

Adam Greenberg: I'm only more accustomed to center because it's where I played the most in high school and in my three years of college at North Carolina. Since I got drafted, I've had to make the adjustment to all three positions. For me, center field is more of a home than anywhere else, but if they stick me in left or right, it doesn't really affect me at all.

Inside The Ivy: Who are some of the coaches you've been working with so far in camp?

Adam Greenberg: I've worked a lot with Gene Clines and Gary Matthews since I arrived. There are so many guys around the batting cages, and the minor league hitter rover, Pat Listach, and Billy Williams have also been a big help. So far, I've had an absolute great experience, and everyone is so willing to help you that they let you just do your thing; they let you figure out your swing in the beginning, and if your hands are dropping or what have you, they'll get you back on the right track. Primarily, they've been there whether you need soft toss, extra batting practice or anything else.

Inside The Ivy: Have you received any advice from some of the major league players?

Adam Greenberg: Basically, the people I've been hitting with are most of the other outfielders, which is primarily because of how we're grouped together. I've been hitting with Todd Hollandsworth, Jeromy Burnitz, Corey Patterson, David Kelton and Jason Dubois to name a few. Everyone has their own little bits and pieces of advice to offer, and they all have their own approach, whether you're a power hitter, a leadoff man, or whatever else. All I do is lay back, take it all in and just use what I think I can apply to my particular game. The more information you have about how other people have done it never hurts.

Inside The Ivy: Describe your tenure in the AFL this off-season.

Adam Greenberg: It was an unbelievable experience for me. It's an event that everyone in minor league ball strives to get to, and it's a prestigious league where there's nothing but scouts in the stands and top notch competition. When I got the invite to go, I knew it was an opportunity I needed to seize. When I got there, a lot of people warned me there weren't going to be many fans, that there would be 1:00 games, etc., but they all agreed it was my time to show them what I could do. With that approach and the coaching staff I had, it made the transition much easier. I was a taxi player, so I played only twice a week. If you compound the fact that it's elite pitching and you're only playing twice a week while the rest of the time you're a spectator, it was a difficult adjustment that I had to make in the beginning. However, I worked through it and continued to learn myself, my swing, and the kind of player I wanted to become. I was able to put that into action and it worked out great for me.

Inside The Ivy: What are some of the things you worked on there?

Adam Greenberg: Well, I worked a lot with Glenallen Hill, whose approach in the batter's box is a little different than mine. He was my hitting coach and we clicked right away. Basically, his philosophy was, "You tell me what you want to do and what drills work for you." I needed to focus on hitting down on the baseball, because I'm not going to get to the big leagues by hitting fly balls and home runs. We did a lot of work hitting off the tee, but afterward it's up to the player—it's up to you when you get into that box. At that point, you don't have any coach; you are your own coach. In your own mind, you realize what you have to do.

Inside The Ivy: What are some of the things the organization has you working on at the moment?

Adam Greenberg: To be honest, they don't have me working on anything specific or noticeably different than any of the other outfielders. Basically, we all do the same outfield drills, take the same amount of swings in the cages, and hit off the same pitchers. I will probably be bunting more than most of the other guys since that's one of my strongest abilities. I'll also soon be working more on base-stealing and things like that, but basically it's up to you as an individual. You keep your approach the same no matter if you're hitting BP or off live pitchers. Obviously with the Cubs and their great staff, you're facing the best.

Inside The Ivy: Who did you enjoy playing with the most last season?

Adam Greenberg: That's an easy one for me. In Triple-A, Kelton was one of the guys I really understood. He's someone who is relatively my age, has major league experience, plays the outfield, and works hard. So when I was at Iowa, he was the one guy I worked with a lot.

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