Q&A with Tony Thomas

Infielder Tony Thomas has been a pleasant surprise for Class AA Tennessee. The second baseman and third-round 2007 draft pick from Florida State entered the final day of April batting .333 (22-for-66) with a team-high four home runs and 13 RBI through 17 games in the leadoff spot.

Q: You've gotten off to a good start. The big thing that sticks out is the power numbers. What has been the driving force behind the home runs?

A: I'm honestly not trying to go out there and hit home runs. I'm just making good, solid contact with the ball, getting good backspin, and they just happen to be carrying out of the park.

Q: The most impressive thing is that your average hasn't slacked off, so it's not like you're sacrificing average for power.

A: Yeah, I'm definitely just trying to get (a good) average. That's the main focus: quality at-bats. The power numbers are just going to have to follow. I'm not trying to hit a certain amount of doubles or triples or home runs.

Q: You'd also only struck out 13 times through 18 games. That has made for a good on-base percentage (.416) and you've drawn a fair share of walks (eight). As the leadoff guy, how important is it to have those walks and keeping a good on-base percentage?

A: That's one of the main things I'm trying to work on is my walks to strikeout ratio. That's a huge thing for me is finding ways to get on base and utilize my speed to help my team out.

Q: What are some things you're working on at the plate? Have the coaches tooled anything with your swing or stance?

A: Not too much with my swing and my stance. It's more of a mental approach that I have going on; going out there with a certain game plan depending on who's pitching. On the mental side, that's definitely helped me a lot this year.

Q: What about your defense and what you have worked on in the field?

A: It's pretty much the same thing. I'm not going to change my (routine). Focusing on defense, there's a lot of things people think will hold me back. I'm just trying to go out and prove myself. I don't want to be a one-sided player.

Q: In spring training, did all of your reps come at second?

A: In spring training, they moved me around. I played, not in games, but I took a lot of ground balls at third, short, and second and even took a few (reps) in the outfield.

Q: You went to Hawaii and played in the Winter League there last year. Did you feel the experience was very beneficial in helping you become a better player?

A: I definitely agree that it helped me. Just seeing some of the best pitchers from other organizations definitely helped me a lot at the plate, and also learning the game more by getting other peoples perspective on how other organizations teach their players. I believe that definitely helped.

Q: There have been a couple of reported cases of the swine flu in Huntsville, where the team is playing Thursday. Has anyone from the team or front office spoken to the players about any of that and is that something you guys have talked about at all?

A: Actually, no. We haven't at all. I'll be flipping through the channels and it will pop on the TV and on the news, but it hasn't been a topic amongst the players yet.

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