Sogard learns from experience

Eric Sogard wasn't necessarily happy with the way he played in 2007 but viewed it as a learning experience – something to build on. His defense wasn't where he wanted it to be and his hitting was missing something. He vows he is prepared for a long season and will show his true colors in '08.

You ended up in Fort Wayne after beginning the year in Eugene. How do you build upon that first year of professional baseball?

Eric Sogard: That was a total learning experience for me last year, getting a feel for what everything is like, what the program is about, the players, and how they go about their business.

It was great to be out there and be in Spring Training – my hometown. It was a blast.

You say it has been a blast – what were you trying to change and what was going so well?

Eric Sogard: You are always trying to get better in every aspect. I have been swinging the bat well and playing solid defense. It is a good start. You are always trying to improve so when improvement comes it is even better.

Getting to go up to a couple of big league games and seeing what it is like up there was pretty cool.

What did you learn up at the big league level as a first-year spring training guy?

Eric Sogard: It is exciting going up there. You see it is the same old game you have been playing since little league. There is no difference. I go up there and get my chance and try to be myself, don't put any pressure on myself and have fun.

Do you feel like there is a little more talk going on up there where people are sharing information?

Eric Sogard: There is quite a bit down here with the coaches – they are all over the place helping us. Either way you are going to get seen and the help you need.

How do you set the tone for the season?

Eric Sogard: I was able to experience the Instructional League and that really helped me out to prepare me for this.

You are always trying to get fully prepared to go. It is going to be a long season but this is what we prepare for – getting ready. It will be fun. I am looking forward to it.

You mentioned playing good defense. Did you feel like last season you were not where you wanted to be?

Eric Sogard: When I got to Eugene, I felt like I wasn't playing to my full potential on defense. I don't know if it was getting used to the environment and the field, but hopefully I can get used to it early and play my game.

What is going to be a successful 2008 season for Eric Sogard?

Eric Sogard: Just playing the way I can. Going out there every day, not getting injured, playing where they need me to play, and having a winning season with the team. That will be a success.

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