Cubs Prospect Interview: Jake Fox (Part Two)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Before we begin, our staff would like to offer its thoughts and best wishes to Jake and the entire Fox family, as brother Zack Fox was recently involved in an automobile accident. According to Jake, his brother is expected to make a full recovery.

FLASHBACK: Part I of our interview with Jake Fox.

Inside The Ivy: Being that you spent all of last year at Daytona and hit .280, do you feel you should have been here at Double-A sooner?

Jake Fox: That's kind of a loaded question. I had hoped at the beginning of the year that I would start out at Double-A, but obviously they had a different idea about that. I really don't want to go there, because they had an idea of what they wanted to do and a plan for what they wanted done. I'm not going to criticize that. The only thing I can control is coming out and doing what I do every day. I guess it was me being in Daytona that has fueled my fire a little. My only goal in going to Daytona was to prove to them that I didn't belong there. I feel like going there was good in a way, but only because it gave me that next level of motivation.

Inside The Ivy: Do you feel you've added some power to your bat this year? You lead the farm system in home runs in addition to RBIs.

Jake Fox: It would seem that way, and yeah, I've definitely hit with a little more power this year. But I think it's more because of the role I filled there at Daytona. As a team, we really didn't have anybody that was going to drive in runs or be a main offensive producer. Filling in that role, I think I had more RBI opportunities and more opportunities to be successful and to hit with more power because of the position I was put in.

Also, I think one of the things that has added to my power production is my discipline at the plate. I've always been a very aggressive hitter, but this year, I've limited myself to what pitches I can and cannot be aggressive with. I feel I've done a lot better with pitch selection and hitting off-speed pitches, and actually making them throw pitches in the zone that I can handle. In the past, I would chase a lot of pitches and get myself in a hole with two strikes and then go into defense mode.

This year, I've really worked the count, been more patient at the plate and got better pitches to hit, which I think has added to my power numbers. When you get more pitches in the zone, you get more mistakes in the zone and it's easier to hit for power. I feel like those are the two biggest reasons why I have a little added power this season. Even coming here to Double-A, I feel like I've struggled at the plate because I'm adjusting to a new role here. But even then, my plate discipline has been great and I've been laying off pitches that I tell myself I would have swung at a year ago and put myself in a hole.

Inside The Ivy: You know we have to ask you at least one question about the Wolverines. How will they finish up in the Big Ten this year?

Jake Fox: Ha, Ha! I'm really excited this year because there are some great athletes on the team. I know there are some other teams in the Big Ten this year that are pretty darn good. It's funny, because I'm rooming with Aron Weston and he's a big Ohio State fan. I think Michigan will have a big year this year, because it's not a year where a whole lot is expected of them. They finally have this underdog mentality, where a lot of guys play better when there's nothing to lose. That's a dangerous thing. I'm hoping I'll make it to a couple of games this year, but also that we'll make a bowl game.

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