Jake Fox Interview

Jake Fox knows that his bat is what got him to the big leagues with the Cubs a season ago. Fox has had an up-and-down start to the 2008 season with Class AAA Iowa, where he has batted .222 with three home runs and five doubles through 15 games.

How do you like playing first base? Most of your starts this month have come there.

Jake Fox: I knew I was going to find a home there when [Micah Hoffpauir] got hurt. I knew coming in that I was going to be playing a lot of outfield and first base and take some work in at third base if they needed that, too. As soon as he got hurt, we needed somebody to play there every day and I knew that was going to be my job.

How did you feel about your spring in big league camp?

Jake Fox: It went OK. Spring Training is always a time to go and show what you can do. I didn't get much of a chance to play in the field as I basically hit most of the time. But I think I showed them that I could hit the ball and I showed them what I can do. Right now, they understand what I can do and they have a good idea of what I can bring to the table. Now it's just coming out here, playing every day and trying to find an opportunity to fit in somewhere.

Do you think hitting the ball is enough for you?

Jake Fox: I saw very clearly last year that hitting the ball is what got me to the big leagues. That was the first year that I didn't catch and was playing other positions. I was hitting the ball well so they called me up. I'm hoping that as I get more reps, I'm going to get better at the other positions I'm playing. But right now I'm just hoping somebody needs a bat in the lineup and I can find a job somewhere. If it's not with the Cubs, I'm hoping another team will pick me up, but I'm hoping it is with the Cubs. This is where I was drafted and this is the team I came up with. I really like it here.

Were you surprised not to be invited back up as a September call-up last year?

Jake Fox: A little, but obviously they had a plan for what they wanted to do and I didn't fit into it. I took the opportunity to go back and finish school and finish my degree. I'm excited to get that past me and concentrate on baseball.

Offensively, are you happy with where you are at right now?

Jake Fox: I think the last piece of the puzzle for me to be the kind of hitter that I want to be is working to use all parts of the field. One of the things you've seen me do a little more this year is strike out looking a few more times. But I'm trying to narrow down my zone and get a good grip and good feel for my zone so that I can be more of an effective hitter. I think that's the last step for me to take as an offensive player, and that's really my (goal) this early in the season.

Are you satisfied with the work you've put in to achieve that goal?

Jake Fox: I'm getting there. It's a process and I'm getting a little better at it each day. Even now, after seeing me take a few more pitches than what you're used to, I feel like I'm doing a lot better as games go on.

With you playing first base primarily, does this give you more time to focus on just one position?

Jake Fox: I still think I have to focus on all of the positions because I don't know where I'm going to fit in at the next level. I have to stay ready and I've even done a little more catching work just to make sure I stay on top of my skills.

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