Q&A with Ty Wright

Ty Wright was a model of consistency in 2008. Playing in his first full season since being selected by the Chicago Cubs in the seventh round of the 2007 draft from Oklahoma State, the right-handed hitting outfielder batted .300 with eight home runs and 21 doubles in 113 games for Advanced Class A Daytona.

InsideTheIvy.com visited with Wright this offseason as he gets ready for spring training 2009.

Jody Davis called you the most consistent player on his team last year. Were you pleased with the year you had?

TY WRIGHT: I was very pleased. Honestly, I couldn't have asked for a better group of guys to play with, and I couldn't have asked for a better group of coaches to play under. It was a fun season all-around, and overall we achieved our goal – we won our (league's) championship and what's most important is winning. I think overall the team had a lot of fun individually. I was able to go out there and learn about myself and what I had to do to play a full season. Like I said, with the coaches I had, it made it real easy to go out there and play and have fun every day.

What did you learn about yourself?

TY WRIGHT: One thing that I think as you get drafted and continue to play, you learn how to play every day for 100 and however many games it is. You just learn the competitive side of it. You learn how to go up there and compete every day and to not give up a day. As far as myself goes, you just learn different things. I worked a lot with Richie Zisk, who is the hitting coach. I learned so much from him and probably more from him than I have in the 20-something years of my life. He was just a great influence and I wanted to pick his brains as much as I could.

I asked Tony Thomas this – you were more or less skipped a level given how little time you saw at Peoria. Did that put any pressure on you?

TY WRIGHT: No, not really. At each level, (Outfield/Base Running Coordinator) Bobby Dernier – and not just him but all coaches – emphasizes that you should be able to play defense and run the bases at a major league level. And hitting, you're always going to have your adjustments hitting as you move up through the system. So going into (2008) I knew it was going to be a big step, but I was confident that I was going to be able to play defense and run the bases for the team. Hitting, I just knew there would be some adjustments there that I'd have to make. As I said, Richie made those adjustments real easy for me. Having a guy like him that's a (former) major league guy and from what I've heard could be a major league hitting coach, it really helped that out. The jump, like I've always felt about baseball, it's the same game I've played since little league. There's a little more pressure, but it's nothing more than you put on yourself. If you can handle those things, you'll be just fine.

Double-A is a likely level for you in 2009, but what do you feel is the strongest thing you've got going for you as a player and a prospect right now?

TY WRIGHT: I don't really know; I leave that up for those guys to take care of and for people to speculate. I think I'm able to go play defense and run the bases. I think those are the two things that I concentrate on a lot. Like Bobby Dernier said, those are two things that I've got to be able to do, especially as the type of ballplayer that I am. As far as offensively, I just go up there and whatever the situation calls for, that's what I focus on. If we have runners on, try to move them over, drive something to the gap and try to get them in. You just stay within yourself and play the game.

How is your throwing arm? You had a strain early in the season.

TY WRIGHT: It got a little sore in the shoulder, but everything is fine now and as the season went on, I was able to throw some guys out and help out defensively that way. Here in the offseason, I've kind of rested it and taken care of it doing some exercises like a pitcher would. I'm really bringing it along a lot better this year than I probably did last year. I guess that's from experience, but the arm is feeling really good so far and hopefully it continues to feel good as spring training approaches and through spring training.

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