Q&A with Matt Camp

DES MOINES -- Go ahead and call Matt Camp clutch. The versatile infielder-outfielder has proven he's worthy of the title, and he welcomes the pressure.

A 13th-round draft pick in 2006 from North Carolina State, Camp is batting .278 with two home runs, eight doubles and 35 RBI in 57 games for Class AAA Iowa. Camp, 25, joined Iowa on April 30 from Class AA Tennessee after batting .298 with three doubles and five RBI in 14 games with the Smokies. A season ago at Tennessee, he played in 133 games and hit .261 with 11 doubles and 37 RBI.

Pressure situations are no sweat for Camp, and as a matter of fact, he loves them.

Back on June 25, Camp hit a two-out walk-off RBI double in the 10th inning to carry Iowa to a 5-4 victory over New Orleans. Against Nashville on July 19, Camp came off the bench and delivered a two-out RBI single in the eighth to give Iowa a 5-4 win.

This season, Camp has played every position besides catcher and first base.

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Q: You've had some clutch hits. Would you say you're a clutch player?

A: Yeah, of course. I like to be in those situations, so I guess if you want to say that, then yeah. A lot of guys will say they are clutch players because they like to be in those situations. I would consider myself one [of them].

Q: What keeps you calm in pressure situations?

A: Just relaxing. A lot of times when I'm leading off, I try not to do too much; just make sure I get on base. When there are guys on and two outs and stuff like that, it seems like I relax more in my head.

Q: What are some things you focus on to help you improve at the plate and on the field?

A: When I'm at the plate, I just try to stay within myself and don't try to hit home runs; I'm not going to hit too many anyway. When I play defense, it kind of helps with me playing different positions, so I stay on my toes and don't get complacent. A lot of times if you stay at one position a long time, you subconsciously think you've got everything covered. But when you play a new position everyday, you [have to] concentrate.

Q: What position is your favorite? Which is more comfortable?

A: If I had to choose, I'd say I like playing center field and shortstop. If I could flip-flop every other day, that would be a dreamland. It doesn't bother me to play any position.

Q: What is the most challenging thing about coming in off the bench?

A: Staying focused the whole game. A lot of times, if you don't start you think you aren't going to play that day. But you have to stay alert and pay attention the whole game (because) your shot might come in the sixth or seventh inning when they're going to change pitchers.

Q: How has the experience at Triple-A been for you?

A: It's been great; a little bit different atmosphere. There are a lot more fans here and I like playing in front of a lot of people. There are a lot of older guys and veterans, so it's interesting. I'm playing with guys like So Taguchi and Bobby Scales, so they've been around a lot.

Q: What has been the biggest adjustment that you've had to make at Triple-A?

A: Being more patient I guess. In Double-A, you get a lot of fastballs to hit and young guys are trying to show their arms off. Here, there are guys that are smarter [when they're] pitching and always being patient. I'm a little restless so it's hard sometimes, but that's what gets me up front. Patience is the biggest thing.

Q: What are you working on to make the next step up?

A: I try to work on my defense everyday; hitting and developing my speed a little bit. I'm somewhat a fast guy so if I could just keep increasing my speed, I could steal some bases and score some runs. That's what they're looking for.

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