Q&A with Derran Watts

Derran Watts recently sat down with NYfansonly.com to talk a little about growing up in Canada and baseball in Canada, his shoulder injury he suffered earlier this season, and also talks a little about former roommate David Wright and former teammate Yusmeiro Petit.

NYF: So how was it growing up in Canada and were you a fan of Toronto?

Derran Watts: Yea...I grew up watching Carter, Olerud, Alomar and all those guys who played for Toronto, it was just the best time. I remember what I was doing the whole series. I remember what I was doing after the win and even three days after the series was over. It was a fun time for me and a time I probably will never forget.

NYF: When did you decide you wanted to pursue baseball?

Derran Watts: Probably when I was 16 or 17 years old and was playing lots of baseball and knew it was something I wanted to pursue.

NYF: Did you play any other sports?

Derran Watts: Not really...I played basketball in the winter just to keep in shape but I really was not any good at it [laughing]. I could dunk the ball but I think my talent in basketball ended there.

NYF: Did you play outfield your whole life? Any other positions?

Derran Watts: Yeah I pretty much played the outfield all my life.

NYF: Did you model yourself after anyone growing up? did you have an idol or anything?

Derran Watts: Well growing up in Canada everyone who played baseball modeled themselves after Alomar, Olerud and Molitor. They were 1-2-3 in batting average in 1993 and we imitated them a lot. There was not anybody in specific I really looked up to though.

NYF: How does your shoulder feel right now?

Derran Watts: It's alright. I mean I can play on it and all but it is getting to a comfortable point. I am constantly icing it up and applying heat to it.

NYF: Are you planning on having surgery on it in the off-season?

Derran Watts: No, not at the moment. The Mets will put me on a pretty strong rehab program so we think it will get better that way.

NYF: Bring us back a little to how you hurt it?

Derran Watts: Well it was a routine fly ball, and as I was rounding first base when the first baseman kind of tripped me, and I landed hard on my shoulder. It was about the end of April when the injury occurred. After that I went to extended spring training in Florida, and on June 18th came here. That was my first game back from the injury.

NYF: Originally you were here on a rehab assignment. Since then you have been removed, and it appears you will be here for the rest of the season. Has the organization told you differently?

Derran Watts: Whatever the organization wants me to do I will do. Dante, Corey and myself are playing pretty well right now so I don't think they want to mess that up right now. I love playing here in Brooklyn in front of all these fans, and it is a great clubhouse to be in. We don't mind playing here at all.

NYF: So how is your new suit? (Derran hit the garage clothing sign in left field which won him a free suit)

Derran Watts: [laughing] It looks good I just got it today (July 14th)

NYF: What color is it?

Derran Watts: Sort of navy/black....something like that.

NYF: You got accessories with it?

Derran Watts: Yea I got the whole nine yards, suit, shirt, socks, and shoes. They treated me well [laughing].

NYF: Is playing at this level in a way better since you play nearly in front of 7,500 than Cap City in which you would play for about 200-500 people?

Derran Watts: Yea this is a great atmosphere to play in. As you can see in the clubhouse all the guys are real loose. The music is always blasting away. You can't really ask for anything better unless you're in the big leagues.

NYF: Who picks the music?

Derran Watts: [laughing] Dante pretty much does...Does that shock you? [laughing].

NYF: Have you noticed a difference between these pitchers and the pitchers you saw in the South Atlantic League?

Derran Watts: With the pitchers up there, you get fewer pitches to hit, they make fewer mistakes. Dante [Brinkley] spent the first half of the season at Capital City and learned from struggling there and now he is starting to recognize the pitches better. It's just a learning experience. I went through it last year as well.

NYF: How do the ball parks in the Sally [South Atlantic League] compare to the parks in the NY-Penn league?

Derran Watts: No major difference other than these parks are just a lot nicer than those parks.

NYF: You're considered a "veteran" on this team. Do some of the younger guys, mostly the rookies come to you for advice?

Derran Watts: When I am the designated hitter I just sit here and talk about the game with the younger players, as to what approach to use and stuff like that. However, a lot of these guys went to big name schools, so I am learning a lot from them also. It goes both ways. As I said before it is a great clubhouse, a loose clubhouse, as you guys can see we just joke around all the time and keep loose and at the same time we know when to be serious and get our work done, and our job done right.

NYF: How much of a scouting report do you have on these pitchers?

Derran Watts: We pretty much chart in the dugout. Some of these guys started the season in the Sally League and we have seen them there, and know what they can or can't do. Whether it helps or not I am not real sure.

NYF: I hear you and David Wright were roommates in extended spring training several years back?

Derran Watts: Yea, he is just a great guy. Real quiet and a real hard worker. I enjoyed every minute I spent with him.

NYF: You spent time in Capital City earlier this season. What can you tell us on Yusmeiro Petit?

Derran Watts: Invisible? I talked to several hitters he faced and they just said his ball disappeared halfway to home plate. He is an outstanding pitcher especially how on target he is with his pitches. Just awesome.

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