Q&A with Victor Diaz

Mets right fielder Victor Diaz was named as the 2004 Sterling Award Winner for the Norfolk Tides. The award is given out annually to each minor league team Most Valuable Player. Diaz talked to NYFansonly.com before being honored in a pre-game ceremony by the Mets. Find out what Diaz felt about being traded to the Mets, his transition to right field, his outlook for the future and what he thinks of the comparisons to Manny Ramirez.

NYF: Bring us back to couple weeks ago when you found out you would be playing for the Mets for the final three weeks of the season?

Victor Diaz: It made me feel real happy. It is a wonderful feeling right now that I am being rewarded for my accomplishments. I now can see that all my hard work in my life paid off right now since I am wearing a big league uniform.

NYF: What were your feeling last year getting traded to the Mets from the White sox?

Victor Diaz: I think it was a good trade for me coming over here to a developing team. I was traded for a major leaguer which made me feel good, however at the same time I was disappointed because I had a lot of friends over there. However life goes on and you just have to deal with all that it throws you and in the end I am just thrilled to be a Met.

NYF: Can you rate your fielding at this point and your transition to right field?

Victor Diaz: I still need to polish myself a little bit more so I can be the tremendous outfielder that I want to be, and that I know I can be. The work is coming along, and I am doing a lot of work to get better. It is a different experience changing positions for the third time, and something you just have to get accustomed to.

NYF: Do you have a position you prefer to play or one you feel most comfortable at?

Victor Diaz: I really don't know that I have a favorite position. I have played three different positions so I guess you can say I am a little versatile. It really doesn't matter to me though what position I play. I just want to be playing everyday, and get my bat in the lineup to help a team win.

NYF: Many have compared you to Manny Ramirez. How does that feel?

Victor Diaz: I am honored to be in the same sentence with him. I watched him growing up, I heard stories about him, and heard a lot about him, and to now hear my name associated with him it is just a tremendous honor, and a great feeling to be compared to one of the greatest hitters to play the game.

NYF: What adjustments have you made since getting the call-up to the major leagues?

Victor Diaz: The pitchers here are a little more polished than the AAA pitchers, however you see a lot of ex-major leaguers down there, and a lot of veteran pitchers so you get a good feeling of what can be expected. Overall the game is a lot faster up here so that is something you need to accustom yourself to.

NYF: What adjustments have you had to make at the plate so far?

Victor Diaz: Just trying to swing at strikes, and not try to do too much. Just be patient and make contact with a pitch I want to swing at, and not a pitch the pitcher wants me to swing at.

NYF: Will you be playing winter ball this year?

Victor Diaz: Yes, I will be playing in the Dominican Republic this winter.

NYF: What position will you be playing?

Victor Diaz: I'll be in right field.

NYF: So would you say right now the Mets see you as a right fielder?

Victor Diaz: Yes.

NYF: What is your outlook for next February and March?

Victor Diaz: Just to come to camp in good shape, and get ready to make the major league club.

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