Q&A with Mets 17th Round Pick Alex Gregory

With their 17th pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, the New York Mets selected Radford outfielder Alex Gregory. In this exclusive Draft Day Q&A, Inside Pitch spoke with the 2009 Big South Preseason Player of the Year about his college career, his highlights, the changes he will have to make at the next level and more.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: First I'd like to congratulate you on being drafted by the Mets. What went through your mind as you found you were drafted by the Mets?

Alex Gregory: Thank you very much. It was just unreal. All the hard work I've done comes together and I felt like it all finally paid off when I saw my name pop up on the screen.

Inside Pitch: Did you have any discussions with the Mets leading up to the draft? Did you have a feeling it was going to be them who selected you?

Gregory: I actually didn't. There were several other teams who expressed a little more interest during the season and then as we got closer to the draft, I was on the phone with a Mets scout and it seemed a little more likely they would come in my direction. I'm really happy they did and I'm really happy to be a Met. It's a great feeling.

Inside Pitch: Did you have any expectations of where in the draft you would go? Any range of rounds you were looking at?

Gregory: I was basically preparing to be selected at any time. I had some guys tell me it could've been as early as round nine or ten yet they weren't specific at how late it could be so it was just whenever it would be, it would be. I was just looking for a shot to play.

Inside Pitch: Let's move on to your game for a little bit. What areas of your game do you think are the strongest? What parts will you be focusing on when you suit up?

Gregory: I've hit pretty much at any level I've been at. It's hard work learning and it hasn't always been a smooth transition to the next level whether it's high school to college, or college to a wood bat league, but I've always worked hard at that and it's something I pride myself on.

I was drafted as an outfielder but I haven't played a whole lot of outfield in a while so that's obviously something I'll have to work at. That's going to be the biggest obstacle I think—perfecting my defense at another position.

Inside Pitch: So you were drafted as an outfielder, but haven't played there recently? What was your position for the most part?

Gregory: I've been a corner infielder all through college. I DH'd on some summer teams and at times in college, but every game has been first base and third base. I used to play some outfield but that was back in high school before I settled in the infield. As I said, I think that's going to be the hardest part, reacquiring those skills. In order to move up, I think it will be important for me to play multiple positions well whatever positions they are.

Inside Pitch: Well that definitely gives you good flexibility.

Gregory: Exactly and that's what I'm hoping for. If I can be good at three positions on the baseball field that's going to obviously be a little more valuable, I think, and allow me to move up.

Inside Pitch: Could you touch on your college experience a little? What was it like playing for Radford? How do you feel you've developed over this past season?

Gregory: You know, the biggest adjustment was really just from freshman year to sophomore year. College pitching and high school pitching were obviously night and day. The transition period was a bit rough. I hit for power my freshman year (9 HR, 40 RBI) but my average wasn't real high (.274) and over the course of the summer that year, seeing college arms everyday, it allowed me to figure out what and how pitchers throw and that allowed me to become a much better hitter with a better approach.

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

Gregory: Growing up, my favorite team was the Red Sox but I guess I have to make a switch now. (laughs) As for a player, I always liked to watch Chipper Jones hit. As far as emulating someone, I don't think I've ever tried to do that, but I've always been interested in how guys hit and how they succeed at such a high level and that's what I like watching. I like watching their approach and how they do things. That's why I think I've found some success by watching them and what they do.

Inside Pitch: What would you say was your best on the field moment so far?

Gregory: That would have to be during this past conference tournament. We lost our first game to Liberty and we hadn't beat Coastal Carolina at all in the time I was at Radford. We came close a few times but we were something like 0-13 against them but we were never able to close it out.

But as seniors, we played them thinking it may have been our last game and they were throwing the Big South Pitcher of the Year at us so we knew it was a huge obstacle but we were able to pull it out and I had a pretty good game going 3-for-4 and helped us win. We came back in the 7th inning after being down four or five runs and the feeling on the field after the game was the best.

Inside Pitch: As I'm sure you know, New York is known for its high intensity atmosphere. What do you think about getting the opportunity to work your way up to a place like New York?

Gregory: I can't wait. I know the atmosphere is unbelievable. I can only imagine. I'll get a taste of it being up in Brooklyn this summer and hopefully I can get a taste of the rivalry at the big league level, but it would be an unreal feeling to get there and that's obviously the goal at the end of the day.

Inside Pitch: So it sounds like you're on your way to Brooklyn. Is it fair to say you're looking to get signed and get your career started?

Gregory: Absolutely. I'm looking forward to getting out on the field, get going and show some people what I can do. Hopefully I can beat some guys for jobs, work my way up the ranks because that's been a dream of mine for a long time. Now it's time to act on it and see it through.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: First I'd like to congratulate you on being drafted by the Mets. What went through your mind as you found you were drafted by the Mets?
\r\n
\r\nAlex Gregory: Thank you very much. It was just unreal. All the hard work I've done comes together and I felt like it all finally paid off when I saw my name pop up on the screen.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Did you have any discussions with the Mets leading up to the draft? Did you have a feeling it was going to be them who selected you?
\r\n
\r\nGregory: I actually didn't. There were several other teams who expressed a little more interest during the season and then as we got closer to the draft, I was on the phone with a Mets scout and it seemed a little more likely they would come in my direction. I'm really happy they did and I'm really happy to be a Met. It's a great feeling.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Did you have any expectations of where in the draft you would go? Any range of rounds you were looking at?
\r\n
\r\nGregory: I was basically preparing to be selected at any time. I had some guys tell me it could've been as early as round nine or ten yet they weren't specific at how late it could be so it was just whenever it would be, it would be. I was just looking for a shot to play.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Let's move on to your game for a little bit. What areas of your game do you think are the strongest? What parts will you be focusing on when you suit up?
\r\n
\r\nGregory: I've hit pretty much at any level I've been at. It's hard work learning and it hasn't always been a smooth transition to the next level whether it's high school to college, or college to a wood bat league, but I've always worked hard at that and it's something I pride myself on.
\r\n
\r\nI was drafted as an outfielder but I haven't played a whole lot of outfield in a while so that's obviously something I'll have to work at. That's going to be the biggest obstacle I think—perfecting my defense at another position.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: So you were drafted as an outfielder, but haven't played there recently? What was your position for the most part?
\r\n
\r\nGregory: I've been a corner infielder all through college. I DH'd on some summer teams and at times in college, but every game has been first base and third base. I used to play some outfield but that was back in high school before I settled in the infield. As I said, I think that's going to be the hardest part, reacquiring those skills. In order to move up, I think it will be important for me to play multiple positions well whatever positions they are.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Well that definitely gives you good flexibility.
\r\n
\r\nGregory: Exactly and that's what I'm hoping for. If I can be good at three positions on the baseball field that's going to obviously be a little more valuable, I think, and allow me to move up.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Could you touch on your college experience a little? What was it like playing for Radford? How do you feel you've developed over this past season?
\r\n
\r\nGregory: You know, the biggest adjustment was really just from freshman year to sophomore year. College pitching and high school pitching were obviously night and day. The transition period was a bit rough. I hit for power my freshman year (9 HR, 40 RBI) but my average wasn't real high (.274) and over the course of the summer that year, seeing college arms everyday, it allowed me to figure out what and how pitchers throw and that allowed me to become a much better hitter with a better approach.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Who was your favorite team and player growing up?
\r\n
\r\nGregory: Growing up, my favorite team was the Red Sox but I guess I have to make a switch now. (laughs) As for a player, I always liked to watch Chipper Jones hit. As far as emulating someone, I don't think I've ever tried to do that, but I've always been interested in how guys hit and how they succeed at such a high level and that's what I like watching. I like watching their approach and how they do things. That's why I think I've found some success by watching them and what they do.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: What would you say was your best on the field moment so far?
\r\n
\r\nGregory: That would have to be during this past conference tournament. We lost our first game to Liberty and we hadn't beat Coastal Carolina at all in the time I was at Radford. We came close a few times but we were something like 0-13 against them but we were never able to close it out.
\r\n
\r\nBut as seniors, we played them thinking it may have been our last game and they were throwing the Big South Pitcher of the Year at us so we knew it was a huge obstacle but we were able to pull it out and I had a pretty good game going 3-for-4 and helped us win. We came back in the 7th inning after being down four or five runs and the feeling on the field after the game was the best.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: As I'm sure you know, New York is known for its high intensity atmosphere. What do you think about getting the opportunity to work your way up to a place like New York?
\r\n
\r\nGregory: I can't wait. I know the atmosphere is unbelievable. I can only imagine. I'll get a taste of it being up in Brooklyn this summer and hopefully I can get a taste of the rivalry at the big league level, but it would be an unreal feeling to get there and that's obviously the goal at the end of the day.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: So it sounds like you're on your way to Brooklyn. Is it fair to say you're looking to get signed and get your career started?
\r\n
\r\nGregory: Absolutely. I'm looking forward to getting out on the field, get going and show some people what I can do. Hopefully I can beat some guys for jobs, work my way up the ranks because that's been a dream of mine for a long time. Now it's time to act on it and see it through.
\r\n
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