Q&A with Seth Pietsch

Kingsport leftfielder Seth Pietsch sits down with NYfansonly.com for a Q&A session to discuss what aspect of his game he works on the most, what adjustments he is making from his professional debut season last year, what is happening during his most recent "slump", who he compares himself to at the Major League level, and which Kingsport pitcher he would least like to face.

NYF: You were drafted in the 8th round in 2002 by the Mets. Can you just take us back on your experiences at that point?

Seth Pietsch: I didn't really know what team was going to draft me. I talked to the Mets couple of times, but when I got the call and it was the Mets I was pretty shocked because I didn't expect them to take me. It's fine with me though, I didn't have a preference of what team to draft me. All I knew was that as long as I got drafted I was going to be happy.

NYF: What adjustments have you made from last season? You spent last season at Kingsport and also in Brooklyn, and struggled somewhat at the plate. Did you do anything different in the off-season, possibly changing your swing, or was the struggle due to your transition from college to the pros.

Seth Pietsch: Well I hard time making the jump from aluminum to wood, and also had some mechanical problems with my swing. I could have gotten away with it in college with the aluminum bats, but I needed to make an adjustment with my swing, and I worked really hard with my hitting coaches to get things turned around. I worked with Al LeBoeuf, the Triple-A hitting coach, during instructional league, and he showed me a few things that really worked out for me, and helped me out. Then when I came to Spring Training I just needed a few more adjustments, and I kept on working with our hitting coaches, and they got a lot of mechanical things squared away, and that made a major difference.

NYF: You started on a huge tear this season in Kingsport. Between June 27th and July 7th (11 games) you batted a .466 (21-45) with 6 home runs and 19 runs batted in. Since then (past 13 games) your hitting just .128 (11-86) and your on a 41 at bat homer streak (as of July 26) Have you noticed pitchers pitching you differently, and if so, have you made any adjustments at the plate to counter that?

Seth Pietsch: The pitchers have definitely been pitching to me a lot tougher, and trying to find my weaknesses, but it is just the way luck has been. I have hit the ball pretty well during this time, but just been lining out to the outfielders, hitting hard balls in the infield, hitting hard balls to the warning track that are caught. It is not that I am not hitting the ball, it's just that I am hitting right at people, and they are making the plays. That is the disadvantage of baseball. You can do everything right, and still fail, and it looks like your not doing that well. I am still hitting the ball good, and that is what is important. You can't worry about getting hits, but just hitting the ball hard, and that is all that you can control.

NYF: You have put up solid numbers at Kingsport this season…Is it a bit disappointing being at Kingsport right now, and not a higher level in the organization?

Seth Pietsch: Well I don't see me moving up any time soon. There are a lot of outfielders above me doing well in Cap City, so I can't go to Cap City and take one of their spots, and there are also outfielders doing good in Brooklyn. Even though I am playing pretty well here, there is no place I can go because you have good outfielders all over the place. If this is where I have to be to play but so be it. Yes, I want to be at a higher level but I am playing fulltime here, and am happy with that.

NYF: What aspect of your game do you work hardest on?

Seth Pietsch: I would have to say hitting. I am always trying to work on my swing. I am looking in the mirror just to see if my hands are in the right place, and things like that. That is what everybody wants to see you do, everyone wants to see a good hitter, and if you hit you will move up. I try to work on the other aspects of my game as well, but I think hitting is what I work on hardest.

NYF: Do the Mets as an organization have a hitting philosophy they try to instill in their young hitters?

Seth Pietsch: They want if you have 2 strikes to choke up, and to put the ball in play. I think that is the main philosophy they stress the most. With 2 strikes they don't want you to hit a home run but just to choke up and try to make contact, and put the ball in play.

NYF: Is there a player in the major leagues that you compare yourself mostly to?

Seth Pietsch: I like to consider myself close to Marcus Giles or Jeff Bagwell. I'm not saying I can hit like those players but they are both short players with lots of power, and that is how I am. Both are right handed hitters, and for a long time many people said they are not tall enough to play but they have proved everybody wrong.

NYF: What pitcher on your team would you say has the best stuff, and you would least like to face?

Seth Pietsch: I would have to say Jose Gomez even though he just moved up to Capital City… I wouldn't want to hit off him, and definitely didn't want to hit off him in Spring Training.

NYF: What has been the biggest baseball moment so far for you?

Seth Pietsch: I think my very first professional at bat in pro ball, I hit a home run with Brooklyn my very first pitch against Aberdeen.

NYfansonly.com would like to thank Seth Pietsch for his time and would also like to thank General Manager Roman Stout for setting up the interview with Seth.

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