Q&A with Wes Darvill

Wes Darvill is one of the first known Chicago Cubs signings from the 2009 draft class. Darvill, a 17-year-old shortstop from Brookswood Secondary School in Canada and a member of the Langley Blaze of the British Columbia Premier Baseball League, was the Cubs' fifth-round pick in this year's draft.

Cubs Scouting Director Tim Wilken told InsideTheIvy.com that Langley has signed a professional contract with the organization. Because of prior obligations with the Canadian National Team, however, Darvill (6-foot-2, 175 pounds) is not likely to officially report to Arizona until some time in mid-July, Wilken said.

InsideTheIvy.com caught up with Darvill after the draft for a Q & A:

Q: Congratulations on being drafted. We ask this to everyone, but … what were your thoughts when you heard your name called on day two of the draft?

A: I was really excited. I was a little shocked. I was the happiest kid in the world, so it was good. I was really excited.

Q: Can you talk about your season with the Blaze and how you improved your draft status? You've batted .317 through 62 games with four doubles and three triples.

A: Yeah. Well, we go to Arizona in Spring Training every March. We go down and play in a junior college tournament with a lot of junior college teams. We usually play, like, the Mariners' rookie team and the Cubs' rookie team a couple of times. We played Kansas City's rookie team and the Giants' rookie team. We go down there and it's a lot of exposure; probably the best exposure (for a team from) Canada. I was up and down (with the Blaze this season). I was around .350 for a while and dropped down.

Q: Did you know the Cubs were pretty high on you when you were in Arizona? In the first game they saw you, they said you hit leadoff and had a triple to start the game.

A: Yeah, I had talked to them quite a bit and I played really well when I went down (to Arizona). They talked to me a little bit. Some of the cross-checkers saw me play and the assistant GM saw me play, too. I knew they were pretty interested.

Q: What kind of hitter would you describe yourself as? Tim Wilken says he can envision you adding some pop to your swing on down the road.

A: I'm more of a line-drive, contact hitter; doubles, triples. I don't really hit many home runs. I'm not really strong, but I can hit a lot of doubles and stuff. I just hit a lot of line drives.

Q: Do you consider shortstop your true position, or have you gotten some reps at more than just one infield position?

A: I think they're (Cubs) going to give me a shot at shortstop. I have some good attributes to play there, but if they move me, it doesn't matter to me. As long as I'm playing, I'll play anywhere.

Q: In your own words, what are some of those attributes?

A: Speed is one of them for sure. I've got pretty quick hands and I have a fairly strong arm and just good instincts. I've played there my whole life and have pretty good instincts.

Q: The power isn't there yet, but that's not really out of the ordinary. Do you think you could add some home run pop to your swing in a few years?

A: Yeah for sure. I had a personal trainer last year and am going to follow up on that this year. (Home run strength) is the weakest part of my game right now, so I'm going to work hard on that in the off-season and hopefully hit a few next year.

Q: What are some other things you'd like to add to your all-around game?

A: I think I have a pretty good skill set; just making those better is what I'm looking to do. Definitely the power, I want to sort of elevate that a little; a lot actually. But I think I have everything down; it's just a matter of (fine-tuning) it.

Q: You've stolen eight bases for the Blaze and the Cubs say you're a "little better than average" runner. Do you consider speed to be one of your weapons?

A: I usually have the green light when I play here and on the National team, too. If I get a good jump, I'll go. I worked pretty hard on my speed in Grade 11 … with a running back from the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL. We did a lot of speed training and that helped me out a lot. As I've gotten older and matured more, I think it's gotten better.

Q: Can you talk about playing for the National team?

A: Yeah, it was a great experience. You get treated really great. It's just like pro ball; you get treated like royalty. It's lots of fun and the coaches are great. You really get a chance to hone your skills playing every day. We go down to Florida in the fall and spring and just practice for a few hours, go into the locker room and have lunch and then go out and play a game. It's every day for about 10 days. … I've played against pro teams of some sorts since I was probably in about Grade 10. I've played in the Dominican as well so there's nothing really that can be a (culture) shock to me; it's just all about the experience is all.

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