Pirates prospect interview: Matt Curry

Pirates first base prospect Matt Curry is off to a solid start at Double A Altoona. In 32 games with the Curve he is batting .282 with two home runs and 17 RBI. PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko spoke with Curry recently.

GVB – You are off to a good start, how are you feeling at the plate?

MC – I toned my leg kick down, and now it's keeping my head on the ball a little bit more. I'm having more success.

GVB – Interesting year for you last season, a great start at West Virginia and then jumping a level to Double A Altoona, how did you feel about last season?

MC – It was interesting. I talked to some guys once I got to Double A and they said 'man that never happens in this organization skipping a level.' I did tear it up coming out of West Virginia, I was seeing it great. I got to Altoona and I finally got challenged a little bit for the first time in my career and I always hit over .300 and I've always been one of those contact hitters that puts balls in play and hits balls out of the yard every now and then. Once I got to Double A I finally experienced a little bit of failure, but I think it made me better.

GVB – Skipping a level like that do you think they wanted to get you challenged?

MC – I think that's true, they just wanted me to get out there and see what else was out in front of me. You've got to be challenged to make yourself better and I think it did. I just learned some stuff that I'd never learned before in the game as far as depth of pitches, ball movement, just little stuff like that. The game is a little faster, just slowing the game down even more – I fixed a lot of that stuff and now I'm moving.

GVB – We hear so much about the bat, tell me about how you are coming along defensively?

MC – I feel great defensively, I think I made seven errors all year last year and there's no telling how many chances I had. It was definitely a great defensive year for me and I'm looking to do the same thing this year. I just keep working, that's all you can do keep getting the reps.

GVB – What did they have you work on in the Instructional League?

MC – I had two things they wanted me to work on. One was on the double play playing at first base a ball hit right at me and they wanted me to backhand it and try to get around it and get my feet in better position to throw to second and another thing was on my leg kick, sometimes my leg kick would go up and out instead of keeping everything compact. They took my leg kick and turned it in a little bit and that way when I land I'm in a coiled position to put some more power on the ball.

GVB – You are starting a Double A, do you hope to move up again this year?

MC – Yeah, I'm the everyday first baseman at Double A as long as I put up the numbers there's no telling where I'll be at the end of the year.

GVB – Do you sense that the dream of playing in the big leagues is getting closer?

MC – It's definitely getting closer and I can taste it now.

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