All-Star Q&A: Buck Coats

West Tenn shortstop Buck Coats was named to the 2005 Southern League all-star team on Wednesday. Coats is batting .306 through 68 games with the Diamond Jaxx this season and is having his best year ever at the plate. Inside The Ivy met up with Coats after the league all-star rosters were announced and got his thoughts on the selection, his season to date, and more.

Inside The Ivy: Buck, congratulations on being named to this year's all-star team. How is the feeling right now?

Buck Coats: I'm pretty hyped up about it, man. It's a great honor to be able to play amongst the best. I was surprised that I got picked, because there are a lot of good ballplayers in this league. I'm just thankful that I'm one of them.

Inside The Ivy: Were you surprised that any of your teammates made the all-star team over others?

Buck Coats: I really didn't pay too much attention to it. Brandon Sing is obviously a great ballplayer and a great teammate. I wish he would have made it with us, but that doesn't mean he won't play in the big leagues, because I think he will one day. He's having a good season and is starting to come back.

Inside The Ivy: Describe your season and how satisfied you are overall right now.

Buck Coats: Things are going pretty good. You have your up's and down's, and right now I'm kind of in one of those down's at the plate.

Inside The Ivy: Has anything led to that?

Buck Coats: I can't tell you, because I've been seeing the ball fine. The first game of the Mobile series, I got some tough pitching, and the second game I lined out three or four times all over the field. I started trying to press a little bit and one thing led to another. But getting out of that series is good for me. I can't wait to start our new series (with Huntsville) on Thursday.

Inside The Ivy: You're still having your best year ever at the plate. What has been the biggest reason for that?

Buck Coats: I think it's all about seeing the ball and getting good pitches to hit. Getting a chance to go out and play, you have to get in a groove. Von Joshua (hitting coach) has been working with me a lot this year, trying to get me to see the ball. It's hard sometimes, but you have to see your way through everything.

Inside The Ivy: What have been the high and low points of your year?

Buck Coats: My high point I'd say has been hitting. I'm still working on my defense and always will be. I know I can always work hard at it and practice at it. Everything will work out.

Inside The Ivy: How comfortable are you with your defense?

Buck Coats: I'm pretty comfortable. I'm not playing scared like I have in the past. Now, I'm playing like a shortstop, making plays, and doing the best that I can. I think what it is, is I get in a hurry and rush myself, which leads to a lot of throwing errors. My arm angle isn't always in the same slot, so I think that's my main problem. I need to slow down and concentrate more on making good throws.

Inside The Ivy: How much of your success do you attribute to your coaches this year?

Buck Coats: This is a great coaching staff, man. You're lucky to play on this team. They know a lot about the game and it's your decision whether you want to take that with you to the field everyday. I just listen to what they have to say, and I've learned a lot in the last couple of months. I continue to learn more.

For the year, Coats has 22 errors at short. His career best batting average for any year above rookie ball was .296 a year ago at Daytona.


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