Q & A with Jermaine Brock

Jermaine Brock, a speedy outfielder drafted by the Mariners in the sixth round of the 2004 June draft, talked to InsidethePark.com recently about his first season as a professional. Brock hit .242 with five doubles, two triples and 10 RBI in 120 at bats with the M's rookie league affiliate in Peoria, Ariz.

InsidethePark.com: What were your impressions of the Arizona Rookie League as a 17-year-old fresh out of high school?

Jermaine Brock: My impression of the league was pretty much explained by saying, this is real baseball, like how it is suppose to be played. Everyone is doing what they are suppose to be doing, and it's a job that you can lose, and it's a lot tougher.

ITP: What were the main differences between playing in high school and playing as a first-year pro?

Brock: The pitching, well not just the pitching. The teammates around you, because you knew even if you made a mistake you would have a teammate there to pick you up.

ITP: How hard was it to be away from home, all the way across the country? What was the day like when you left your family?

Brock: (Laughs) It wasn't that hard actually. I mean, the only hard thing was that when something really cool happened, or you met someone cool, you couldn't really show your friends.

ITP: Describe the feeling of signing your first pro contract. What'd you spend your signing bonus on?

Brock: Clothes, games, a car, a house - everything a 17-year-old could wish for I got. Right now, I have an Eclipse GSX that I've been working on in the offseason, and then my parents want me to invest in a SUV for traveling and storage.

ITP: Back to baseball - what was it like going from being the main man in high school to being in a place where everyone was the main man in high school?

Brock: It didn't really affect me. I mean, it just made me want to work a little harder so that I could become the main man again in the future and the guys treated me great so it helped a lot.

ITP: In high school you were a speedster, and you've compared yourself to Torii Hunter before. Were you disappointed you didn't steal more bases in your first pro season?

Brock: Yeah. I mean, I did the best I could, it was all in the confidence, I should have had more on the bases, but that's just apart of learning the game.

ITP: What is your offseason like, and how much time do you plan to devote to baseball?

Brock: My off season is pretty much my job, baseball, and friends (laughs). In the afternoon I workout, I work in the morning, then after that I hang with my friends.

ITP: What areas of your game have the M's told you to really try to improve on? If they haven't told you anything specific, what areas do you want to improve on most?

Brock: Pretty much just to use my speed, be more patient at the plate and become more of a base hit hitter. Like in high school, I led in home runs, and was just a pull hitter because they really did not know where to pitch me, but when I got to rookie ball I had to learn to choose my pitch, and go with the ball wherever it went, and find a way on base.

ITP: Where do you expect to start out next season? Have you been told or is it up in the air?

Brock: Up in the air pretty much, but I'm going back in January probably for winter program and I want to make that middle A team (in Wisconsin). That's what I'm shooting for.

Special thanks to Jermaine Brock for taking the time out of his offseason schedule to give InsidethePark.com an update on his first months as a pro ball player.

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