Marc Krauss has played catcher, third base, and outfield in his amateur baseball career, but he is known for his bat, not his defense. Krauss batted .402 this year with a .521 on-base percentage and .852 slugging average. His 27 home runs shattered the previous Ohio single-season mark of 20. That performance should be tempered somewhat by the fact that his OPS was 350 points higher at home than on the road and that this home run total was almost twice as high due to one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in the nation.
Yesterday, Collin Cowgill was placed on the disabled list with a fractured hand, paving the way for Brendan Duffy's promotion to Visalia, but leaving just three outfielders on South Bend's roster. That opened the door for Krauss to make a jump straight from college to full-season ball that is unprecedented in the Josh Byrnes era.
We interviewed Marc just hours after the announcement of his addition to South Bend's roster. You can read the full transcript below or .
FutureBacks: Congratulations on your draft selection and then being named to the South Bend Silver Hawks' roster.
Marc Krauss: Yeah, it's pretty neat!
FB: Did you have any idea that you might start at such a high level?
MK: Actually, no, not really. I figured I'd go to one of the two Short-Season clubs, but I guess they had bigger plans, and that's fine with me. I'm ready, and I'm excited to go out and get it going.
FB: What do you think will be the biggest adjustment for you, going from college-level play to guys that are a couple of years older than you are?
MK: Obviously, these guys are the best players from wherever they're from. They're elite players. Obviously, I'm going to be switching back to a wood bat, which I'm not too unfamiliar with, I guess: I've used them each of the past couple of summers. I love hitting with the wood, and it's always a challenge to actually produce with it when you're using it, but it's one that I like to take on.
It's going to be a grind, obviously. Going into the full-season, there's probably 70-some games left. It's a lot more games than I've played in a row. So it's going to be a big change, but I'm ready to step forward and hopefully help the team out in any way I can.
FB: I understand the ballpark in Ohio is a little bit hitter-friendly, whereas a lot of the ones in the Midwest League are pretty cavernous. Do you think that might be adjustment for you?
MK: Yeah, obviously, I can't expect the kind of numbers I put up in the spring. Metal bats, and like you said, our home field was pretty hitter-friendly - a nice breeze was usually blowing out to right field for me. I'm not going to let that affect my game. It's something that's out of my control, and I'm just going to do what I have to do to help out the team and get some wins.
FB: Well obviously you did put up incredible numbers all three years in college. Did you have any expectations regarding how high you might be selected in the draft?
MK: I'd heard from different places and scouts that I'd be a first-day guy, and to hear my name called 64th overall to the D-backs is pretty sweet. I'm looking forward to getting going in my professional career and hopefully get on track to be that future Diamondback.
FB: Is it nice being in the Midwest League so that you might have some friends and family drive over from Ohio?
MK: Oh yeah, it can't be more perfect for me. I'll actually be closer to home in South Bend for family and friends than I was at Ohio University. It's only a little over two hours from South Bend to home and about three-and-a-half for school. I'm sure there'll be plenty of friends and family supporting me often. That'll be great as well, and hopefully it will make this transition a little easier.
FB: I'm sure that Mike Schmidt is a legend among Bobcats, but is there ever any talk about Bob Brenly and what he did for the Diamondbacks in 2001?
MK: Oh yeah! Obviously, there's that good connection there, as Bob Brenly is a World Championship manager and he's a Bobcat, so that's always a good connection. Obviously, Mike Schmidt is probably the most prestigious, but I'd say that Bob Brenly is right there behind him.
FB: The last question is about your defense. I know you've played a bunch of different positions. Where are you most comfortable?
MK: I'm most comfortable in the outfield. It's kind of more home to me; I've been out there more often than other positions. It's probably where I'll end up, so it's where I feel most comfortable and I think it's the best position for me.
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