Exclusive Q&A with Patrick Maat

InsidePitchMagazine.com caught up with the Mets' newest international signing, Patrick Maat, for an exclusive interview. Patrick gives us some insights to his defensive game, what his strongest asset is offensively, when he'll be arriving in the United States, and more.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: You already mentioned that you will be in Australia to finish up your schooling before heading on over here to the States to begin your professional career with the Mets. Will you be playing baseball in Australia until that time? If so, who will you playing for and when does that season begin and end?

Patrick Maat: Yes I will be playing. I am just finishing off a season right now, representing two teams: the Auburn Orioles in the Sydney Major League and the Mingara Rebels in my local comp. I will also be playing for another local team at the start of the winter competition, called the Magpies.

Inside Pitch: Is there anything in particular your agent or Tony Harris wants you to specifically work on while playing there?

Maat: Well, at the moment, no. I just need to continue developing my skills and to keep up the hard work in the gym and with my fitness.

Inside Pitch: Give us a little scouting report on yourself. What would you say is your biggest strength as a ballplayer? What is the one area you need to work on the most overall?

Maat: I would say that my hitting is probably my biggest asset. I think the thing that I need to improve most on would be my overall catching, just to tidy it up here and there.

Inside Pitch: Stemming from the above question, what type of hitter do you believe you are, and what type of hitter do you believe you will develop into? Do you think you will be a power hitter, a hitter than can hit for average, et? You're still a young man, but how many homeruns do you think you will wind up hitting at your peak?

Maat: I beleive I am a power hitter at the moment and I beleive I will remain a power hitter, as it is one of my best assets as a ballplayer. (laughing) Well I am not sure how many home runs I will hit. At the moment, I do not try to hit home runs. I just hit and it happens. (laughing) But hopefully a truck load.

Inside Pitch: On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being Gold-Glove caliber, how would you rate your defensive skills? And why?

Maat: At the moment, I believe I am about a six. I still have a long way to go defensively, but at the same time, I have done a lot of hard work. I'm a big boy, but I believe I am fairly agile for my size.

Inside Pitch: Do you follow Major League baseball? If so, did you have a favorite team growing up? Do you have a favorite player?

Maat: Well to be honest, I do not follow Major League baseball. I probably would but I do not have pay TV and thats the only way to view the baseball over here. I never really had a favorite team but i always remember Mike Piazza as being my favorite player.

Inside Pitch: What made you sign with the Mets? Were there any other teams talking to you about signing with them?

Maat: There were a few teams that were talking to my agent about signing with them. The thing that really pushed me towards the Mets is because I have known Tony Harris for several years. He has been a great coach at the Australian accademy and he has always steered me in the right direction.

Inside Pitch: Are you familiar with your fellow countryman and former Mets' catching prospect, Justin Huber? If so, how would you compare your game to his?

Maat: I am not really familiar with him because I do not get the chance to follow the game. But from what I have heard, he is an awesome player. I hope to one day be at his level.

Inside Pitch: When do you anticipate on coming over to the United States to begin your professional career? In the press release, it says you'll be here in time for Spring Training in 2006. Do you have a target date in mind?

Maat: I am not really sure about the exact dates, but I have been told I will be heading over in March of 2006.

Inside Pitch: Who would you say your offensive game resembles at the Major League level? Which one player stands out in your mind (offensively) as somebody you think you compare to in the Majors, and why? Note: This interview was conducted via email because of the time difference, so we were unaware of Patrick's inability to watch MLB games in Australia.

Maat: To be honest I am not sure. But I aspire to be in their shoes one day. I hope that i can be as good as all major league catchers.

Inside Pitch: Of the players you have either played with or against in Australia, which players have the best upside in your opinion? Who should the fans in America be on the look out for down the road? And have they signed with anybody yet?

Maat: Well there are several of my mates that are here from NSW, but I have a good mate that is heading to college who I beleive should have been signed. But anyways, his name is Ryan Macmillan. A great pitcher to look out for is Mathew Williams, who signed with the Twins last year.

We would like to thank Patrick Maat for taking the time to answer our questions. Inside Pitch will be checking in with Patrick throughout the year to check in on his progress.

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