Q&A with Mets 12th Round Pick James Ewing

With their 12th round pick, the Mets selected second baseman James Ewing out of Southern Mississippi. Ewing described his game, his draft process, and his on-going focus in the College World Series to Inside Pitch in this exclusive draft day Q&A. Be sure to return tomorrow when at least six more Q&As will be posted, including Mets top pick Steven Matz.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: Tell us what is going through your mind right now after being selected by a team like the New York Mets?

James Ewing: I'm elated. They have a great, great program as far as top-to-bottom professional baseball. I talked to a couple of my buddies who've been drafted who have said that the Mets have top notch everything. I had no idea what to expect and to go in the twelfth round to the Mets—it's a dream come true. I'm just on cloud nine right now.

Inside Pitch: Were you surprised it was the Mets that selected you? Did you and the Mets have any discussions leading up to the draft?

Ewing: To be honest I wasn't surprised because I talked to their guys a couple of times and I heard that they were one of the teams that were interested in me. And, believe it or not, out of high school I thought I might be drafted by the Mets, but for whatever reason it ended up not working out. It doesn't really matter now—I couldn't have picked a better way for this to play out for me.

Inside Pitch: Do you have any ideas of what the Mets' organization or farm system is like?

Ewing: I really don't know much. I've just been focusing on college, on my classes and on my team here, so I really don't know too much. But, from what I hear, their farm system is outstanding.

Inside Pitch: Did you have any expectations of where you may have gone in the draft? Did you have any range of rounds you anticipated being selected or did you just prepare to be drafted at any time?

Ewing: The draft is really tricky, at least for me—I don't have too much experience with it. I was expecting to go around the twentieth. I heard anywhere from 10-20, sometimes 15-20, sometimes later. To go in the twelfth round—it feels great.

Inside Pitch: Getting to your game, what areas do you think are the strongest? What areas will you focus on improving once your professional career begins?

Ewing: My mental approach to the game. I like to use my mind to play baseball. I'm not one of those players that can take what I call the "meat-head" approach and just do everything as hard as you possibly can and not think about it. My defense and hitting are also strong.

Hitting, defense and I'm a smart base-runner. I want to improve at everything. I want to do anything that the organization asks of me, anything that that they need me to do. If the need me to change positions, I'll be willing to do it. I would like to get with a speed coach and work on my speed. I would like to reach my ceiling—I want to be the best baseball player that I could possibly be.

Inside Pitch: You played second base during your college career. Where do you see yourself staying? Have the Mets given you an idea of what role they may assign you?

Ewing: Not really. All I know is the scout came and watched me play and I was playing second base, and it says they drafted me as a second baseman. So we'll see. If they feel that my future isn't at second base, I'm totally fine with that. I'll do anything that the organization needs.

Inside Pitch: To give our readers a little bit of an idea of what you look like out on the field, what big leaguer would you compare yourself to?

Ewing: It's tough to say because the second base position at the major league level now is so different—you have some guys that are speed guys who are really good defensive players and steal bags, and that's really not my game. I'm not a big base stealer. I'm a solid defensive second baseman. I would say, best case scenario, I would like to model my game after Jeff Kent. I feel like I can hit for a lot more power than what I have in college.

Inside Pitch: What was your favorite team and your favorite player growing up?

Ewing: It was always different. I just like guys that go out and they play baseball the way it's supposed to be played. I like guys that work hard and guys that are good team players. It looks like my favorite team now will be the Mets.

Inside Pitch: What would you say is your best moment in baseball so far?

Ewing: My best moment has definitely been these past couple weeks playing here at the University of Southern Mississippi. We won the regional at Georgia Tech and we dog-piled afterward, and then we went Florida and swept them in two games and we dog-piled after that. That's the greatest feeling. We're the first team from Southern Miss to make it to the College World Series, and the first team that has ever gotten past a regional.

Inside Pitch: New York is known for its high intensity atmosphere. What do you think about the prospects of one day playing in New York?

Ewing: It comes with the territory. If you want to do great things in your baseball career you have to expect to be under pressure and in situations like that. That's the kind of things that you want as a baseball player. But at the same time I like to keep baseball in perspective. It's extremely important to me, but I think as everybody is well aware of there are plenty of things that are more important in life.

Inside Pitch: What are your immediate plans now that you have been drafted by the Mets? Is it your intention to sign now and start your professional career immediately?

Ewing: I'm just taking it one day at a time right now—I haven't even talked with anybody from the organization yet today, so I'll be waiting to talk to them. But right now I'm just focusing on the College World Series. I've got practice this afternoon with my team and we're just focused on playing the Texas Longhorns this Sunday.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: Tell us what is going through your mind right now after being selected by a team like the New York Mets?
\r\n
\r\nJames Ewing: I'm elated. They have a great, great program as far as top-to-bottom professional baseball. I talked to a couple of my buddies who've been drafted who have said that the Mets have top notch everything. I had no idea what to expect and to go in the twelfth round to the Mets—it's a dream come true. I'm just on cloud nine right now.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Were you surprised it was the Mets that selected you? Did you and the Mets have any discussions leading up to the draft?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: To be honest I wasn't surprised because I talked to their guys a couple of times and I heard that they were one of the teams that were interested in me. And, believe it or not, out of high school I thought I might be drafted by the Mets, but for whatever reason it ended up not working out. It doesn't really matter now—I couldn't have picked a better way for this to play out for me.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Do you have any ideas of what the Mets' organization or farm system is like?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: I really don't know much. I've just been focusing on college, on my classes and on my team here, so I really don't know too much. But, from what I hear, their farm system is outstanding.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Did you have any expectations of where you may have gone in the draft? Did you have any range of rounds you anticipated being selected or did you just prepare to be drafted at any time?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: The draft is really tricky, at least for me—I don't have too much experience with it. I was expecting to go around the twentieth. I heard anywhere from 10-20, sometimes 15-20, sometimes later. To go in the twelfth round—it feels great.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Getting to your game, what areas do you think are the strongest? What areas will you focus on improving once your professional career begins?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: My mental approach to the game. I like to use my mind to play baseball. I'm not one of those players that can take what I call the \"meat-head\" approach and just do everything as hard as you possibly can and not think about it. My defense and hitting are also strong.
\r\n
\r\nHitting, defense and I'm a smart base-runner. I want to improve at everything. I want to do anything that the organization asks of me, anything that that they need me to do. If the need me to change positions, I'll be willing to do it. I would like to get with a speed coach and work on my speed. I would like to reach my ceiling—I want to be the best baseball player that I could possibly be.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: You played second base during your college career. Where do you see yourself staying? Have the Mets given you an idea of what role they may assign you?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: Not really. All I know is the scout came and watched me play and I was playing second base, and it says they drafted me as a second baseman. So we'll see. If they feel that my future isn't at second base, I'm totally fine with that. I'll do anything that the organization needs.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: To give our readers a little bit of an idea of what you look like out on the field, what big leaguer would you compare yourself to?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: It's tough to say because the second base position at the major league level now is so different—you have some guys that are speed guys who are really good defensive players and steal bags, and that's really not my game. I'm not a big base stealer. I'm a solid defensive second baseman. I would say, best case scenario, I would like to model my game after Jeff Kent. I feel like I can hit for a lot more power than what I have in college.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: What was your favorite team and your favorite player growing up?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: It was always different. I just like guys that go out and they play baseball the way it's supposed to be played. I like guys that work hard and guys that are good team players. It looks like my favorite team now will be the Mets.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: What would you say is your best moment in baseball so far?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: My best moment has definitely been these past couple weeks playing here at the University of Southern Mississippi. We won the regional at Georgia Tech and we dog-piled afterward, and then we went Florida and swept them in two games and we dog-piled after that. That's the greatest feeling. We're the first team from Southern Miss to make it to the College World Series, and the first team that has ever gotten past a regional.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: New York is known for its high intensity atmosphere. What do you think about the prospects of one day playing in New York?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: It comes with the territory. If you want to do great things in your baseball career you have to expect to be under pressure and in situations like that. That's the kind of things that you want as a baseball player. But at the same time I like to keep baseball in perspective. It's extremely important to me, but I think as everybody is well aware of there are plenty of things that are more important in life.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: What are your immediate plans now that you have been drafted by the Mets? Is it your intention to sign now and start your professional career immediately?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: I'm just taking it one day at a time right now—I haven't even talked with anybody from the organization yet today, so I'll be waiting to talk to them. But right now I'm just focusing on the College World Series. I've got practice this afternoon with my team and we're just focused on playing the Texas Longhorns this Sunday.
\r\n
\r\n","mobileBody":" \r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: Tell us what is going through your mind right now after being selected by a team like the New York Mets?
\r\n
\r\nJames Ewing: I'm elated. They have a great, great program as far as top-to-bottom professional baseball. I talked to a couple of my buddies who've been drafted who have said that the Mets have top notch everything. I had no idea what to expect and to go in the twelfth round to the Mets—it's a dream come true. I'm just on cloud nine right now.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Were you surprised it was the Mets that selected you? Did you and the Mets have any discussions leading up to the draft?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: To be honest I wasn't surprised because I talked to their guys a couple of times and I heard that they were one of the teams that were interested in me. And, believe it or not, out of high school I thought I might be drafted by the Mets, but for whatever reason it ended up not working out. It doesn't really matter now—I couldn't have picked a better way for this to play out for me.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Do you have any ideas of what the Mets' organization or farm system is like?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: I really don't know much. I've just been focusing on college, on my classes and on my team here, so I really don't know too much. But, from what I hear, their farm system is outstanding.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Did you have any expectations of where you may have gone in the draft? Did you have any range of rounds you anticipated being selected or did you just prepare to be drafted at any time?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: The draft is really tricky, at least for me—I don't have too much experience with it. I was expecting to go around the twentieth. I heard anywhere from 10-20, sometimes 15-20, sometimes later. To go in the twelfth round—it feels great.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Getting to your game, what areas do you think are the strongest? What areas will you focus on improving once your professional career begins?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: My mental approach to the game. I like to use my mind to play baseball. I'm not one of those players that can take what I call the \"meat-head\" approach and just do everything as hard as you possibly can and not think about it. My defense and hitting are also strong.
\r\n
\r\nHitting, defense and I'm a smart base-runner. I want to improve at everything. I want to do anything that the organization asks of me, anything that that they need me to do. If the need me to change positions, I'll be willing to do it. I would like to get with a speed coach and work on my speed. I would like to reach my ceiling—I want to be the best baseball player that I could possibly be.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: You played second base during your college career. Where do you see yourself staying? Have the Mets given you an idea of what role they may assign you?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: Not really. All I know is the scout came and watched me play and I was playing second base, and it says they drafted me as a second baseman. So we'll see. If they feel that my future isn't at second base, I'm totally fine with that. I'll do anything that the organization needs.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: To give our readers a little bit of an idea of what you look like out on the field, what big leaguer would you compare yourself to?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: It's tough to say because the second base position at the major league level now is so different—you have some guys that are speed guys who are really good defensive players and steal bags, and that's really not my game. I'm not a big base stealer. I'm a solid defensive second baseman. I would say, best case scenario, I would like to model my game after Jeff Kent. I feel like I can hit for a lot more power than what I have in college.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: What was your favorite team and your favorite player growing up?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: It was always different. I just like guys that go out and they play baseball the way it's supposed to be played. I like guys that work hard and guys that are good team players. It looks like my favorite team now will be the Mets.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: What would you say is your best moment in baseball so far?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: My best moment has definitely been these past couple weeks playing here at the University of Southern Mississippi. We won the regional at Georgia Tech and we dog-piled afterward, and then we went Florida and swept them in two games and we dog-piled after that. That's the greatest feeling. We're the first team from Southern Miss to make it to the College World Series, and the first team that has ever gotten past a regional.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: New York is known for its high intensity atmosphere. What do you think about the prospects of one day playing in New York?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: It comes with the territory. If you want to do great things in your baseball career you have to expect to be under pressure and in situations like that. That's the kind of things that you want as a baseball player. But at the same time I like to keep baseball in perspective. It's extremely important to me, but I think as everybody is well aware of there are plenty of things that are more important in life.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: What are your immediate plans now that you have been drafted by the Mets? Is it your intention to sign now and start your professional career immediately?
\r\n
\r\nEwing: I'm just taking it one day at a time right now—I haven't even talked with anybody from the organization yet today, so I'll be waiting to talk to them. But right now I'm just focusing on the College World Series. I've got practice this afternoon with my team and we're just focused on playing the Texas Longhorns this Sunday.
\r\n
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