Q&A with Ty Wright

Ty Wright has moved quickly since signing as a seventh-round draft pick from Oklahoma State last year. The right-handed batting outfielder, 23, hit .308 in 71 games in his debut pro season a year ago between Class-A Peoria and Boise. He worked his way into High-A ball for the start of 2008, where he's hit .293 in his first 31 games.

Were you at all surprised to move so quickly into upper A-ball?

Ty Wright: Going into spring training, I felt I had a good shot at going to Daytona by having gone to Peoria last year. I knew I had to come into spring training, work hard and accomplish some goals, but luckily it worked out.

You've been hitting in the DH spot a lot recently. Can you elaborate on that?

Ty Wright: I kind of strained a muscle in the back part of my throwing arm, and we're just trying to get that healthy again. That's been the reason for the DH so much. I think I'll probably have a couple of more days before I'll be back in the outfield again. It sucks, but at least I'm able to get my at-bats in.

Last year in Boise, you said that you were able to focus as much on your defense as your hitting. Were you pleased with the work you put in?

Ty Wright: Yeah, and I think I was able to learn a lot, especially going into the Instructional League, where I was working with [Cubs Minor League Outfield Coordinator] Bob Dernier pretty much every day. I think that's really helped my defense and it's something I've learned to take a lot of pride in and work hard on.

What were some of the things that you and Bob Dernier worked on?

Ty Wright: It was basically just knowing your environment – the grass, the wind, the sun and being ready for every little thing. Then there's getting a quick first step on a live drive or flyball and getting behind the ball; stuff that seems so elementary but is so big whenever you're playing in the field in so many different ballparks.

You've gotten off to a pretty nice start with the bat this year. How important is a fast start at any level?

Ty Wright: Pretty important. At every level, you're going to have to make adjustments. You're always going to play defense and run the bases, but it's the adjustments at the plate that you're going to have to grind out and go through in order to conquer that level. There have been times when it feels like you've never even swung a bat before and times when that's all you've done. We're only a little over a month into the season, but everything has been going well and we have a good group of guys, which makes it easier for everybody to hit. It's a lot of fun to hit in this lineup.

We know that you're a line-drive, gap to gap kind of hitter. Have you been able to put those kinds of swings on pitches this season?

Ty Wright: I feel like I have a little, but probably not as much as I would like. I think that plays into one of the adjustments that you have to make as you go from level to level. Not just me, but our whole lineup is starting to find their swings a little better and starting to hit the ball harder. I think that comes with the adjustments you make. Now that we're in May, everyone is starting to get more comfortable with the pitching in the league.

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